It seemed like a Starbucks morning. OK I would have preferred a Second Cup morning but the chances of finding a Second Cup outside of Canada would be equal to the chances of getting heat stroke while dancing naked at the North Pole. Alright, that will be the last of the nightmare-inducing imagery.
After downing a latte and a breakfast sandwich (Susan elected the raisintoast) we hopped on the tram and were off to Central Station. From the station it was a short walk to the tour company office where we picked up our tickets for the Keukenhof Garden Tour. Actually the tour would be more accurately described as transportation to and from, and entrance to, the gardens. However the guide did provide some tidbits of information on the way to and from Keukenhof.
Upon arrival at Keukenhof Gardens, we made our way through the entrance and spent the next 3 hours wandering amongst the flower beds. The gardens are a showcase of many different flowering bulbs but the emphasis by far is on tulips. Keukenhof is only open from mid-March through mid-May. The ideal time to visit would probably be around mid-April as already we could see that we were approaching the end of the season. The flower beds in the gardens were spectacular; however, the fields surrounding Keukenhof for the most part had already had their flowers picked to drive the energy down into the bulb.
The gardens receive over a million visitors annually. It seemed like half that number were congregated at the entrance as we made our way through. Soon, though, the crowd thinned out and we spent a very pleasant 3 hours wandering amongst the flower beds. As our time was limited we really only visited about 1/2 to 1/3 of the total gardens. To do the park justice you would really need the better part of a day. Unfortunately, as we had to catch the return bus, we did not have the luxury of an extended visit.
Upon our return to Amsterdam (the gardens were about a 45 minute drive from the Central Station vicinity) we stopped at a couple of shops to make some purchases then hopped on a tram to return to our hotel and lunch.
We enjoyed a late lunch at one of the many restaurants close to our hotel then returned to our room to relax.
Keukenhof Gardens are definitely worth a visit if you find yourself in Amsterdam at the right time of year!