It turned out to be a somewhat of a bust but the castle and breakfast made up for it.
Keukenhof is known each year around April as ground zero for tulips and flower fields, making it for a few weeks at least one of the most heavenly places in Holland. For the rest of the year though it’s hard pressed to get even a handful of tourists so when I heard that a Christmas market was happening there – only the second time ever – I figured it would be worth the drive despite less than ideal weather. Arriving just after opening time, I could already feel I expected too much. The cheap-budget decor and the unusual market displays – archery lessons, anyone? – made it more like a flea market than a spirit-filled shopping experience. Luckily the trip was saved by the nearby castle and the structures around it that gave us an alternative to the blow-up Santa and Croatian wine stall that greeted us earlier. We ended up having a hearty jolly breakfast that was enough to fill me with glee. Lesson learned – for a very merry old time, best to cross the borders to Germany or Belgium.