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Wednesday, May 14

Tulips in Netherlands

We are here to make dreams come true, at least for my mom. My mom is a fanatic for gardens, flowers and all things nature. Since her trip was planned very last minute, we decided to drive to Netherlands for few days. Our time there coincided with the Tulip growing season.

On Friday we drove to Kleve Germany; we decided it would be best to spend the nights in Kleve due to its proximity to Netherlands. Bed and Breakfast Rebeige is outside the heart of town and isolated. With proper directions from the owner, we reached at 9pm, after a brief stop at a rest stop with our homemade Indian meal. It was my mom’s wish to eat homemade food on Friday since we’d eat out the other days so we were happy to oblige. The owner showed us to our rooms and explained the TV/DVD details. The room was spacious and moderately decorated with IKEA pieces. The bathroom is spacious with a walk in shower. Signs are everywhere of the home’s goal to be environmentally friendly; solar roof panels, asking to turn off all lights upon leaving, the rainwater is stored in tanks and used for shower and toilets.

The morning’s breakfast was a large spread with deli meats, fresh fruits, homemade bread, yogurt and freshly brewed coffee. The owner even offered to help us plan our car route from Haarlem to Leiden with few stops, one included Keukenhof. The drive from Kleve was a short one of 2 hours. Haarlem is a small town with few main squares (an Amsterdam suburb feel but yet with a charm of a small town). We drove through the town to proceed to the flower garden at Keukenhof. Allocate 2 hours minimum because it has greenhouses and outdoor gardens full of flowers (mostly tulips).

After strolling through the gardens we drove to the open tulip fields. This was the dream my mom had of seeing tulips, endless rows of flowers.

This is also where parts of the bollywood (Hollywood + Bombay) movie Silsila was filmed. In addition to Keukenhof, the field of tulips was a charming experience.

We proceeded to drive to Leiden but without luck of finding tulip fields on either side of the road. Having a shorter day than planned we drove to Gouda for a quick stop. Unfortunately by 4:30-5pm on Saturday, most of the down was winding up for the day. Other than few restaurants preparing for dinner, both the farmer’s market and boutique shops were closing. We were hoping to buy some Gouda cheese but weren’t lucky. Walking up and down the small streets, the city felt reminiscent of Amsterdam. Like it’s older sister, Gouda sits on canals with row houses and constructed precisely like Amsterdam.

We ate dinner at Akropolis, a Greek restaurant, in Kleve. The multiple dining rooms are large spaces for parties. The restaurant serves many meals efficiently and the service is generous. The food is good and may offer best selection in the area.

On Sunday we drove back home using the back roads of Germany, stopping in small towns for pictures and snacks.

The tulips were the prefect reason to see the quieter parts of Netherlands & Germany. Tip- Late March to early May is the best time to visit for peak bloom, check google for details before planning your trip.

1 comment:

  1. Those fields of flowers seem to stretch endlessly! Breathtaking.