Monday, April 26, 2010


Tulips, Tulips, and more Tulips!!!

Some interesting facts about the "Keukenhof"

The size of the park is 32 Hectares (approx. 70 acres) and has 15 km walking paths.
This year it is the 61st anniversary of the park being open to the public. (the origin of the park dates back to the 15th century).
The theme this year is "from Russia with love"
The amount of visitors since the park first opened to the public is more than 60 million. (over one million per year)
Every year over 7 million bulbs are planted of 1600 different varieties.
There is 15000 m2 under cover in 4 pavilions. One of the pavilions alone (the Willem Alexander pavilion) displays 600 different varieties of tulips, and 120 different varieties of Narcissus.
In the end of May the largest show in the world of Lillie's takes place, over 300 different varieties.


The "Keukenhof" The brochure claims this to be the most photographed place in the world!! and I believe it!
It was hard not to take a picture of ALL the many different varieties, arrangements, shapes, and color. The fragrance of spring surrounds you everywhere you walk.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Reason for "aquaducts

This picture shows the reason why more and more aqueducts are being build in Holland. When the bridge has to open for a ship to pass through, hundreds of cars are lined up in front of the open bridge.
We just came through the bridge that caused the line up as seen in this picture.

On rout from Amsterdam to Lisse

From the Six haven in Amsterdam we traveled right through Amsterdam to the "Haarlemmer meer ring vaart" The canal that surrounds the "Haarlemer meer polder" one of the first polders to be dried up in Holland. It is more striking here than anywhere else we have traveled that the land is many feet lower than the water. Also what is striking here is the diversity in Holland of industry, recreation, travel, and agriculture. All very intense, and within a stone's through from each other.
A good example is Schiphol airport on our starboard side,( we could see the control tower and the landings strips) and hundreds of horses on our port side.

A visit from a cousin

It was very nice to see my cousin Mien on board for a cup of tea.

Flower Parade

As well many local businesses had beautifully decorated cars and vans in the parade. Thousands of people from all over came for the parade.
It was actually difficult manoeuvrings through the crowd, after the parade, to get back to where our bikes were parked!!


One of the main area,s in Holland where they produce flower bolb's is Lisse
The famous "keukenhof" is located just outside of Lisse. Also in the spring they have the annual "bloemencorso" (Flower parade) with many beautifully decorated floats.
These pictures really don't do justice to the beauty of the floats. For one thing you, don't smell the fragrance that the thousands of flowers used to decorate the floats, bring with them as they travel past you.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Our good deed for the day

we We were just about finished our "grachten" tour when someone called to us from the side.
He had a drink in a cafe right on the side of the "gracht" His money for paying the bill was laying on the table. however a puff of wind came along and the next thing he knew his money was not on the table anymore, but in the "gracht" He asked if we could retrieve it, and give it to the waiter who reached out of the window to take it from Joanne.

Ann Frank house

We had been to the Ann Frank house by foot only to see a large line up. It was quite cold the day we were there, and decided we would not stay in line for possibly hours.
When we came by in the dingy the next day the line up was even longer!!

More Amsterdam from the dingy

Just a reminder!!! click on any one picture to enlarge it!!

Typical Amsterdam

These are some of the typical old Amsterdam architecture, as seen from the "grachten"
The wealth must have been enormous judging by the detail that went into the gable and buildings fascia. No wonder they called it the "golden age"

The "Koot" (water chicken)

This bird is plentiful in Dutch waters. We called it the "garbage collector" as they make their nest from all the floating debris they find in the "grachten". I would not be surprised if it was a protected species, as they do their part in keeping the waterway clean!!

Lunch stop

A view from the restaurant window

We can see the dingy right from the restaurant.

In Amsterdam you just don't leave anything unattended. And as we did not have our chain and lock for the dingy, we had to keep a close watch on it.

Grachten of Amsterdam

Today we toured the "grachten" in our dingy. Very interesting!!!

One of the sites might be familiar to some of our blog followers.!?

Does this look familiar Tini????

St Nicolaas Kerk

This is a picture of the St Nicolaas Kerk as seen from a bridge over one of the many canals that run through Amsterdam.

The "Oude Kerk"

The "Oude Kerk" is a structure in the heart of Amsterdam and was build in 1260.
It was closed to the public the day we were there, however I managed to take a picture through the open door.

Hollandshe schouwburg

This is a place of significant historic interest.

Prior to the second world war, Holland was home to many Dutch citizens of Jewish descent. Most of them lived in Amsterdam. The "Schouwburg" in Amsterdam was a prominent theater in the Jewish section of Amsterdam.
During the war (June of 1942) the Schouwburg was used as the gathering place for the Dutch Jews. They were transported by cattle train from here to the concentration camps, mostly to Auschwiz, but also to Sobibore, Bergen Belsen, and Theresienstad.
Of the 110,000 Jews that were sent here only 6000 survived, and returned after the war. The Schouwburg is used as memorial to this tragedy. One of the walls has the names of all the Dutch Jews who did not return.

Side walk cafe

You can't go to Amsterdam without enjoying a "koffie met appel gebakt" (Coffee with apple cake) and of course a BIG scoop of whip cream!!!