Saturday, June 13, 2020

Day 3--Keukenhof & Leiden

So today was what I've really been looking forward to...tulips!  We had a bit of a travel snafu in the morning (got off at the wrong metro stop), but figured it out and made it to the bus that would take us to Keukenhof.


(My first time stitching together different pictures to make a panorama!  I used autostitch's free software. I was a bit off, but overall happy with my first attempt)

We walked immediately to the windmill so we could reserve at the booth nearby a canal boat ride through the fields of tulips before the early times were all taken.  While waiting for our time, we wandered around the garden until time for the boat. 

(After getting a stroopwaffle for breakfast of course)

There were tulips of all sizes, of course, but also daffodils, grape hyacinth, normal hyacinth, azalea, wisteria, and more.  

The canal cruise was pretty blah and got me sunburned.  I had pictured a boat ride through fields of daffodils in their color rows like in all the pictures of dutch tulip fields, but did not figure in that the water would be lower than the fields--oops.

We stopped briefly at the hothouse

before heading back towards the entrance along the main pond, past more tulips of course!


There were lots of people there though, especially as the day got on.  Definitely recommend getting there early.  But the gardens were so beautiful with so many different types of tulips and other flowers.


We next caught a bus to Leiden right outside the entrance (maybe around 1:20 pm), a university town about a half hour from Keukenhof.  The town was very pretty with (surprise, surprise) loads of canals!  The bus let us off at the train station, and we walked into town over the Singel (the old town moat). 

We ate lunch (greek food) on a floating platform on the canal, off Beestenmarkt.

After lunch we followed Rick Steves' walk,

up the Galgewater (Gallows water) Canal

then up to Rembrandtplein--Rembrandt was born in Leiden in 1606 and spent his childhood here, leaving for Amsterdam at 17.

We wandered down streets,

past Leiden's university,

the Gerecht (17th century court and prison),

and in the square,

with St. Peter's Church.

The Pilgrims worshipped here after leaving England in 1609 and before they came to America.

Next was a moment reminiscent of Secret Garden.  We walked through this doorway on the edge of the church square,

and down the lane to St. Peter's hofje (funded by donors to house poor people).  These houses would be arranged around courtyards, like this one.

We continued the walk on the Breestraat, past city hall

 and down to the Rhinefront Market.

(We came across a dance on the Koornbrug (Corn bridge)!)

Next uphill to the Burcht, where a castle would have been since 1150, for views around town.

Now it is nothing but a shell surrounding huge trees.

A few more pictures as we walked full circle back to the train station.


After catching a train back to Amsterdam, we took a tram back to the Museum district from yesterday.  We had seen a stand there yesterday selling ,"American hot dogs."  They were a good cheap dinner (but not really typically American--not beefy or meaty enough).

We then walked up to start our canal cruise (with a glass of prosecco in hand).

When we bought our tickets in advance, we choose to start right before sunset, so we could watch the sun come down from the canal.

(So many houseboats along the way)

(Amsterdam Centraal)

Afterwards we look a tram to Dam Square where we had an ice cream before  walking back to the hotel.

1 comment:

  1. • Ahhh, I'd forgotten about today's travel snafu. I felt like we wandered in circles around the parking lot of that deserted station in the middle of nowhere for ages, and yet we still made it to Keukenhof in good time! Yay for leaving at the crack of dawn to give ourselves a snafu-cushion! :-P.
    • Photo Nos. 3 and 4 legit look like they could be on postcards. I can't take artful pictures of flowers, but those are STUNNING! You should definitely choose at least one of those for the "travel wall" dedicated to this trip!
    • While you were buying tickets for the canal cruise, I was buying our stroopwafels. This really illustrates our competing priorities on literally every single one of our trips, haha. :-D. That was a really delicious, gooey stroopwafel, though!
    • Love Photo No. 19, too. And No. 24.
    • The canal cruise was...a disappointment, to say the least. Definitely not worth suffering through being on a boaty little boat in the sun for 30 minutes. You forgot to mention that a bunch of the tulips in the fields that we passed were dead (or well on their way to being dead). Boo. The only saving grace were the random ducklings, so WHERE ARE YOUR PHOTOS OF THE RANDOM DUCKLINGS?? I was hoping you'd gotten some good ones, as all of mine are blurry because I was literally flailing with excitement.
    • I'm sorry you didn't get a chance to frolic picturesquely through tulip fields like you'd imagined. :(.
    • I think I demanded that we eat at that Greek restaurant because I was getting characteristically hangry by that point. I was underwhelmed by my salad as it was too cucumber- and onion-intensive, but at least the waiter was attractive. :-P.
    • I love Photo No. 50.
    • Didn't we have massive confusion trying to figure out how to actually enter that church? I vaguely remember walking in circles around it before realizing that the entrance was like...through the coffeeshop at the back or something.
    • Now you have an Amsterdam hot dog photo to match your Paris one, haha. I enjoyed this hot dog way more.
    • I'm glad I'm getting a chance to see your photos from the canal cruise because I took like three during the course of the entire thing as I was focusing all of my energies on trying not to puke. So many boats today. Anyway, your pictures from the back deck are making me wish I'd taken a chance and joined you because they're so prettyyyyyyy.
    • Okay, I think Photo No. 80 is my favorite. Frame that one too!

    I really wish I'd brought my pedometer on this vacation because I feel like we walked a LOT. I get tired all over again just reading through the entries!


Thank you so much for your comment! I hope you have a wonderful day :)