Thursday, November 19, 2009

Keukenhof Gardens: Largest flower garden in the world!

Keukenhof Gardens

As of right now I am in the Netherlands in the winter months. Unfortunately I'm not going to be able to visit the tulip fields when they are in bloom.
Bulb growers have created a place called Keukenhof Gardens.

You can visit this location late March to late May daily from 8am-7pm. Cost is 12.50 euro for admissions.
The town the gardens are located is called Lisse, which is 15m north of Leiden.
This is the largest flower gardens in the world, dating back to 1949. Several million flowers are on show for their full flowering period. You can easily spend an entire day here!

Some interesting facts regarding the bulbs:

The Dutch call the bulb fields "pancake flat." Many fields stretch from Leiden towards Haarlem supporting over a billion euro industry with over 10 thousand growers. Bulbs have been around since the late 16th century. Carolus Clusius, a Dutch botanist and one-time gardener brought the first tulip bulb over from Vienna, where it had sandy soil and was highly looked upon--causing a massive need and want for them!

Here are a few images that I managed to pull from the gardens website.

You can rent bikes and take a tour around the gardens.

Even a nice boat ride...

Also- you are able to purchase bulbs at the gardens gift store.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Kinderdijk- Holland Windmills
Click on the ENGLISH icon and read all about Kinderdijk. Absolutely MIND BLOWING! (no pun intended) :-)

Some information from the website to give you an overview:

The Netherlands is famous for its windmills. Today there are still more than 1.000 mills. Nowhere in the world you will find as many windmills as near (the Dutch village) Kinderdijk. Around 1740 no less than 19 sturdy mills were built here. They have been well preserved to the present day.

The mills drain the excess water from the Alblasserwaard polders - which are situated below sea-level - after which the water is sluiced into the river Lek (the Rijn).

The powerful mill sails serve to transmit the force of the wind on to large paddle-wheels which scoop up the water. Nowadays power-driven pumping engines do the job, including one of the largest water screw pumping-stations in Western Europe.

Small Cities to visit In-between Den Haag and Rotterdam (Zuid Holland)



Leiden (in between Amsterdam and Den Haag)

You can purchase one ticket to Rotterdam for a day trip and stop at all of the locations listed above. If you are taking the train from Amsterdam you would purchase a round trip to Rotterdam since that is the furthest city away. Keep your ticket on you, they have security that comes to your seat to make sure you purchased a ticket.

Images from Rotterdam

Den Haag Holland- Region also known as Zuid Holland and Utrecht

Zuid Holland (South Holland) is the most densely populated area of the Netherlands.

You must visit Den Haag which is right along the coast of the North Sea. BEAUTIFUL!!!

Important information: You will need to take a train to this location from Amsterdam Centraal Station. There are two train stations in Den Haag and you need to get off at the Den Haag Centraal Station. (the other location would be Den Haag HS). The Den Haag Centraal is more convenient, and only five minutes from the center of the city. Round trip will cost about 25 euro.

YOU NEED to take the TRAM (Tram 9) the North of Den Haag (10 min. bus ride) and visit the beach called Scheveningen. You pronounce s-khay-ve-ning-uh. Very difficult. Cost for a bus ride is only 2.60 euro round trip!
Here are a few pictures. This small town is wedged against the seashore. This is the Netherlands BIGGEST costal resort. This location attracts more than 9 million people every year.

Casino and Restaurant right on the water!

Sea Life Center Aquarium