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Published: April 19th 2018
Carol Kline, the famous gardener boarded our boat and gave us a talk after dinner. Today she also met us in the Keukenhof Gardens to give us an introduction to the place and later we had a Q & A session before the final dinner. The Keukenhof Gardens are 45 minutes drive outside Amsterdam and they are huge. Every year they plant over 7 million bulbs and have several small Inspiration gardens based on a different theme each year. This year the theme was Love. The Garden is only open for 8 weeks so do not miss it if ever you come to Amsterdam when the Gardens are open. My photos do not do the place justice. It is a profusion of colour and the most fabulous tulips you have ever seen. They also grow hyacinths, daffodils, Amarylis and other bulb flowers but mainly tulips. There are pavilions one of which was an orchid pavilion, which was gorgeous. Outside the gardens are the tulip fields which are purely for growing bulbs. So as soon as the tulips in the fields flower they are decapitated so that all the goodness goes into the bulb and not into making seed. We ordered some
bulbs which are going to be delivered at the end of September. When 100 bulbs arrive I may regret this purchase! There are lots of people who visit this garden and the place was extremely busy even though it was only Wednesday so I wouldn't want to go at the weekend. There are plenty of places to sit down however and there are lots of eateries so you can spend several hours there. As the paths are all flat it was very wheelchair friendly. There are also some areas for kids with small animals and climbing frames so something for everyone. There is a windmill at one end which you can climb to get an overview of the bulb fields. You could also be taken through them on a small boat. As the weather has not been good recently I was worried that the tulips would not be in flower but there were millions to see. The long drive to and from the gardens was enhanced by yet another very funny guide who had us rolling in the aisle of the coach! The Dutch guides have been the best we have ever had on any tours.
Back on board
we had the Captains farewell dinner which was the best meal we have had so far, a decent pate and a chateaubriand. The soup was still very bland. All the staff on board have been great and we couldn't fault the service. As usual we have met some great people and the week has gone by very quickly. Can highly recommend it and if you like a drop of wine as we do, then I also recommend that you buy the drinks package which saves all the signing for drinks and for us was good value.
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