A March 2001 trip
to Amsterdam by Irene
Quote: Even in blustery damp March, Amsterdam is a fasinating city of food, fun, frolik, freedom and flowers.
Hotel | "Hotel Terdam"
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 2, 2002
Jacob Obrechtstraat 69
+31 (0)20 662-7574
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 2, 2002
Jan Luykenstraat 22
+31 (0)20 671-2954
Up several steep steps and we were in a foyer where the tables stretched off to both sides with all the tables facing the huge picture window and the bar behind a brass railing to the rear. The lovely windows ran the entire length of the room on both sides as it stradled the corner. White, White cloths covered all the tables along with fresh flowers and crystal wine glasses. Our waiter rushed to help us, and that was the last time he rushed us or himself. Holland believes that good food is worth waiting for, and takes time to prepare properly (and they were right!). We both had Primavera, mine with veggies and Robert''s with shrimp. The portions were huge and the sauce creamy and tangy clinging to the al dente pasta, with crusty bread on the side. Small green peas, carrots and asparagus blended well and added beautiful color. White wine was a good choice and coffee sufficed for dessert. We made it home just after the witching hour.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 4, 2002
Attraction | "Keukenhof"
Our entrance (there are at least three more entrances and parking lots marked with flowers), lead to a wide boulevard bordered by huge leafless trees. We were just a bit early in the Spring, this being the first week of April, however the bulbs were already splashing the grounds with their colors. Huge plots hovering around the trees sprouted sunny daffodils while others contrasted with pastel pink and honey Hyacinths. Numerous paths wound away from the walkway amid freeform ponds and amist a jumble of colorful bluebells and purple crocuses.
Our wide walkway to the left lead to a brimming green house filled with orchids, hanging from the roofs, planted in pots and sprounting from the indoor landscape. A nice self-serve cafe was next door and another cafe at the opposite end of the park overlooking the ponds and tulip shaped white sculptures.
Deeper into the park were several pavilions with flower displays, the vibrant gerber daisy exhibit and the tremendous showing of the new hybrid tulip bulbs. Small hutches scattered along the lanes provided a place for us to order some of the flowers on display as the almost 8,000,000 bulbs are planted by the Dutch tulip growers, each one has his own plots with ID sign. Past the flowers, almost to the bulb fields surrounding the 74 acres, we found the petting zoo complete with playground for the children and picnic area for the family.
Finally we stumbled on the azalea garden (would you believe it - orange azealas) after getting lost in the hedge maze and hungrily snacked sitting on a lovely bench in the shadow of the towering windmill (open for climbing).
Admission is about $9 and the park is open late March to late May from 8am to 7:30pm. Buses arrived constantly, both tour and special buses from Leiden. Just take the train to Leiden and at the train station you ask for the bus to Keunkenhof. Also special tours can be arranged -- contact the tourist office.
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