Keukenhof - The Tulip Garden
The Tulip garden at Keukenhof is one of the most serene and romantic place I have visited so far. Here you can find Tulips of all varieties and also buy bulbs and plants and books on flowers. the garden is pretty big and takes almost an hour or two depending on your love for flowers. The Tulip fields are nereby which produces for Export.
There is also a big lake inside and everything is well maintained and clean. Please check my profile for the link to mu home page where you will find many pictures of Tulips from this Garden. For anyone who loves flowers - this garden should be a must in your list of places. Please check the timie you are visiting as Tulips are generally found from May till September only.
Canals and Bridges
One of my favorite things to do in Amsterdam was just to walk along the canals and bridges and look at the scenery. It is a beautiful city that you must walk around in to enjoy. Take plenty of time. Every corner and every street offers a new experience.
It is a great idea to start...
It is a great idea to start your visit with a boat trip on the Canals. Most boat tours start opposite the Central Station. So it is easy to find.
It is a great way to discover the canals and the many bridges. The one hour tour even shows you a bit of the harbour.
Check in Time
We climbed the steep flight of steps to the reception at around noon and found out that our room will not be ready until 2 PM. We left our luggage at the reception desk, and headed back to Korte Leidsedwarstraat to explore the neighborhood. After stopping in at Rookies for a couple of hot chocolates to warm us up, and a stop at Rookies souvenir shop to check out the goods we headed for the Leidseplein (the square at the end of Leidsestraat) to look around our new 'hood. We did not realize how cold it was going to be and how tired we would be after missing a night's sleep. I never really got accustomed to the new sleep schedule(my wife had no problem however), but that's another story.
Hortus Botanicus and beyond!
We arrived at Hortus Botanicus. The greenhouses were fantastic, but being the middle of winter, most of the rest of it was dormant. Certainly was worth the time, a beautiful park even in the winter. I really liked the butterfly house, the fragile creatures were not extremely colorful, in fact many of them blended into the surrounding foliage. They looked like moths according to my wife! Had lunch at their cafe, the Oranjerie, where we enjoyed cheese sandwiches, tasty and reasonably priced. Getting tired, we then took the tram to Centraal Station, where I spent 50 p to take a pee! Nice clean restroom anyway. Then we boarded the free ferry that leaves from the dock at the back of Centraal Station to cross the river Het Ij to the other side. Gives you a different view of the city. Then back to Centraal Station. We were bushed at this point, and a 1 hour canal boat tour was perfect. A really enjoyable one hour, great views of the city, sitting down in warmth. Then we walked up the Damrak for awhile to do a little shopping, then hopped the tram to the Leidseplein, a few blocks from our hotel. We dined at Leeuw Thai, a nice Thai restaurant across the street from our hotel at Korte Leidsedwarstraat 60. The food was great, the service great, we enjoyed watching the passing folks as we sat at the window by the street. Seemed a bit pricey, but hey, it's Amsterdam, and a thoroughly enjoyable dinner. Stopped to check our email at the Internet Coffeehous, then back to the hotel for BBC and bedtime. Our Centraal Station visit amused me. You pay 1/2 a Euro to go to the bathroom, but can ride the ferry all day for free. I really enjoyed the canal boat ride, but wished that the Captain had smoked fewer cigarettes in the enclosed canalboat. This is Europe tho, you gotta go with the flow, and can't expect everybody to cater to whiney California hippies, can you? A great day.