5/26/15

Amsterdam and the Keukenhof Gardens

Hey everyone!  I hope all of you had a wonderful Memorial Day.  We had beautiful weather here, and I hope you did as well.  Are you ready to continue the tour with us as The Man and I travel the Rhine?  Up-front warning, this one is photo-heavy.

Amsterdam is where we boarded "The Sound of Music" river boat, and after a fun "get-acquainted" evening, wonderful food, and a good night's sleep, we were off to see Amsterdam!

Well, it turns out to be King's Day in this lovely city, so for our safety we could not do a bus or walking tour......bummer!  Instead, we boarded one of these canal cruisers and saw a bit of Amsterdam from the waterway.


               
Orange is the color-of-the-day for King's Day, and we saw orange balloons & lots of people wearing orange t-shirts.  Apparently this celebration can get quite raucous, which is why we were not allowed 
to stroll the streets.

Property is extremely expensive in Amsterdam, so a lot of people have made these old 
boats their homes.

The canal system is quite elaborate & can get very busy.  For canal traffic control, they have these steel gates that block off certain off-shoots.

It was cold and cloudy this morning, so some photos are kind of dark.  I was also shooting through glass, so you may notice a reflection here and there.

This "orange-clad" guy went speeding past us -- getting ready to party, I think!

Another boat turned residence.  Our guide told us that quite a number of these abodes did not opt to hook up to the city's sewer system, so use your imagination as to where their waist goes.....EWWW!

This one even has a deck added on!  We could see kids' toys, so there were families living on these boats, not just single people as you might expect.

Bikes, bikes, & more bikes everywhere!  We actually passed a large parking lot just for bikes.  Our guide, Erika, shared with us that bike theft was a big problem, so many people either add an additional lock to the front tire or just take it with them.  She opted to paint hers a bright red, because what bike thief would try to whisk away such an identifiable colored bike?  
So far, so good for Erika! 

There are many floating restaurants, and the Sea Palace is huge!  Chinese food must be very popular.

Back to the boat for lunch and a bit of sailing through The Netherlands.  Our next tour was the 
Keukenhof Gardens in the early afternoon.  Keukenhof, also known as the Garden of Europe, is one of the world's largest flower gardens. It is situated in Lisse, the Netherlands. 

I didn't know anything about these gardens, but seeing fields of Spring flowers growing like 
this is exactly what I was expecting.


Lots of TLC goes into these beauties.

I was NOT EXPECTING THIS!  The beauty and.......

The artistry were overwhelming!


I cannot imagine anything other than the gracefulness of swans in this beautiful setting.

There was an entire pavilion just for orchids.


Every kind of orchid you can imagine.  There were even some available for purchase.

This was the Keukenhof version of a "food court," but you can see what immediately
caught my eye!

These look like "foot torturers" to me, but this cobbler was very talented.  There must be 
people who wear these things.  Do you see the elephant and the tiger?  Oh yeah, the sandals 
look super-comfy!

Okay, back to the gardens!


Well, "Hello there!"



Every once-in-awhile, there was a photo-op devoid of people!

This was actually called "The Selfie Garden."  I kid you NOT!

Well, I don't know about you, but I think this is the MOST BEAUTIFUL place I've ever seen!
While not getting to really see Amsterdam was a big disappointment, the self-guided tour of these gardens pretty much made up for it in my book!  I hope you enjoyed this tour with me.

Next stop will be Cologne, Germany.  Until then, have a great week.

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