Bruges and the Dutch Bulbfields with Shearings – DAY 3

Keukenhof – Garden of Europe

The croissants at breakfast were surprisingly addictive. As was the raspberry jam. Plenty of choice. Various breads, cheese, ham bacon, eggs, cereals. Enough to fill the appetite and more. The coffee machine and orange juice squeezer proved popular too.

Keukenhof GardenWe were still tired after the long day yesterday. But Babs and I slept well. The hotel was oh so quiet and the bed so comfortable.

Today was our highlight of the trip. Keukenhof – the most photographed garden in the world! How naive to think that we were only a few miles drive away. In fact the journey was three hours each way. It just goes to show how vast Europe actually is. Our school geography lessons never taught us scale.

E17 and E19. Not food colourings. No. Two of the motorways we travelled on to make our way to the gardens. Travelling towards Ostend, then Antwerp, by passing Rotterdam. Just before Amsterdam the coach veered left towards the coast and Lisse.

The Dutch Bulbfields extend across the coastal region from Leiden to Haarlem. Field after field of colour and variety. Line after line, rainbow colours. And situated here in the flower village of Lisse is the big Daddy of Dutch horticulture. The world famous Keukenhof. A magical place.

Keukenhof GardenSeven million tulips, daffodils and hyacinths are planted each year to make the gardening world take notice. “Come and see the best garden in the world!”

The excitement of spring brings new life and new colour to this region. So many shades, patterns, bulb varieties. A sea of flora. We knew it would be good but didn’t think it could be this good!

The gardens simply overwhelm the senses. Hyacinths so fresh , fragrant and heady. At home we buy bulbs in packs of ten. To see hundreds of tulips together does make one heck of a statement. At every turn a new vista equally as stunning.

Flashbulbs go off everywhere photographing flashy new bulbs. Keukenhof is a photographer’s paradise. Displays so perfect that all you need to do is point and press your digital! The flowers will do the rest. Picture postcard perfect!

Keukenhof GardenFlower shows, historical gardens, inspirational gardens, an orchid show, a roses exhibition, a traditional windmill, a Japanese garden. Picnic areas galore. There is no finer place to have a tea or a coffee and a cake. It’s all here in this 80 acre paradise. Breathtaking.

At the end of the day we made our way back to the coach. Tired feet, weary but elated. Happy to make another tick on our bucket list and wishing we had a bucket big enough to take home all the new varieties. Wishing too that we could have spent longer here.

It had been a wonderful day made even more special by a chance meeting of Ian and Janys. Memories to savour in this truly gorgeous place. We will be back.

We are sorry to advise that the Specialist Leisure Group, which includes Shearings, entered administration on 22 May 2020. If you have booked a holiday with Shearings, or you have any questions please visit the Shearings website.

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Dave Harcombe

Travelling pharmacist

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