Heavenly Keukenhof

Not content with our trip to the garden center the day before, we just had to make a pilgrimage to this year’s bloom-filled haven that is Keukenhof. It didn’t start out so well for me, though.

As is usually the case, I wanted to get there before the hordes of bus-riding tourists descended. I asked that we get there at opening time, which we did, but was disheartened that despite (or maybe because of) the seasonal clock-adjustment that signaled the start of longer days, the sky was looking bleakly cloudy. There wasn’t any rain in the forecast but I had a nagging feeling that it wouldn’t be as beautiful as the weathermen told us. That would have been a problem of the first world kind.

Sadly, I noticed that not all the buds on the grounds were open. Matter of fact, a lot of them were still quite green and nowhere near to blooming. It was a pale reflection from when I first visited three years ago, a fact I couldn’t help but dwell on even as we walked from one end of the park to the other with the weather taking its sweet time to get better. Even as I started to see the trees cast shadows, it wasn’t enough to get me excited, and at 15 Euros a pop I actually felt a bit cheated. Thank god my partner was an icon of positive energy that day – he may as well have saved the trip for us both.
It still felt a bit nippy walking around the grounds so we made do by going into the pavilions where rows and rows of tulips, hyacinths, and others were in full bloom. I started to feel a little better.

As we came out of the pavilions, the flowers were just about ready for their close-up. Before I went full-on camera crazy, we decided to cut our walk short and stop for a quick breakfast at one of the few restaurants that were open. As we sat down and studied the menu, I could see streams and streams of people coming from the bus parking lot. Even so, I felt quite unfazed as someone decided to turn on the traditional street organ out front that I found out later on was one of several spread over the huge park. I began to feel that European air that I was attracted to and longed for when I was still living elsewhere. After a while though, the music selection turned a bit comical. It’s not everyday that you get to hear a traditional street organ start playing Madonna’s Who’s That Girl.
Quien es esta niña, indeed.

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