We had one more day in the city before our tulip adventure which we spent paddle-boating on the canals, eating kassoufles from Febo, sampling the greatest chocolate milk I have ever and likely will ever have in my LIFE… Chocomel… and squeezing in a fantastic Indonesian meal at Aneka Rasa. We shared a meal and an apple pie at Winkel 43,which, I hate to proclaim yet another ‘best in my life’ within the space of two sentences, but it was truly the best apple pie I have ever had. Even Blake ate and enjoyed it, and he doesn’t even like apple pie. By the way, who doesn’t like apple pie? Madness.
We also managed to meet up with a highschool buddy and her college amiga and do some exploring with them too.
Which leads me to the main event which was our experience travelling to Haarlem, hiring bikes and riding aimlessly into the general direction of what we thought might be some tulip fields. I had never really done aimless exploring in a foreign place before. Usually I like to plan activities and directions in so much detail that it’s a bit scary, and I never, ever just go off without knowing where I am on a map. In this instance we did pull out google a couple of times, one of which was when we realised we had somehow gone in a complete circle and were actually riding on the same stretch we had already ridden but in the opposite direction, but we were pretty much just riding wherever the roads happened to take us and seeing where we landed. We did this for about 5 hours and it was unbelievable. We knew we wanted to eventually reach a place called ‘Lisse’ if we could which we had read was tulip-field-central but were prepared to not end up getting there and just enjoying the day out.
Here are some pics of our journey along the way.
Hey! A tulip field!
After a couple of hours of solid riding we stumbled upon a beautiful diner-esque restaurant. We had gone so far out of Amsterdam that signs and menus were no longer in English, and waiters didn’t assume you were tourists and address you in English. Consequently, we didn’t really know what we were ordering and kind of mumbled something about something… and to our great surprise and satisfaction were presented with this beast of a cheese and meat platter for lunch. It was unbelieeeeeevably good.
And lo and behold…. another tulip field!
When we realised we had actually made it to Lisse there was a great sense of accomplishment all-round. And then we set ourselves another challenge… visiting the Keukenhof gardens. We were exhausted and knew that visiting Europe’s largest garden was probably going to be a tiring experience but powered on and made it there and boy am I glad that we did.
Check these out! I had never seen anything like it. Firstly, there were literally thousands and thousands of people there. It felt like a theme park or Disneyland except everyone was there to see flowers which is kind of a bizarre thing. The flowers were stunning and the displays were amazing. I don’t even like flowers that much and I was enthralled! We were really lucky to see it as it is actually only open two months in every year.
The variety of colours and the artistry in actually arranging the bulbs to grow in the way that they did was phenomenal. Because we were so tired we could only handle an hour or two in the park but if you haven’t cycled for 5 hours prior to arriving, you could easily spend a full day tiptoeing through the tulips. It rounded up our entire Dutch experience perfectly. Happy 30th birthday, B! xxx