Tiptoe Through the Tulips

Several weeks ago, while my parents were visiting, we trekked our way to the airport and then onto a bus that took us to the world renowned Keukenhof Gardens. Granted, it was a cold, windy day and it was a bit too early in the season to see the fields in all their glory, but the three of us left a bit disappointed.

Lone strip of blooms.
Lone strip of blooms in the distance.

The flowers in the garden itself were beautiful, and the varieties of tulips were very impressive, but it just felt very sterile and touristy. I wanted a redo. I wanted to be blinded by colour. I wanted to see with my own two eyes what I’d seen on a million postcards. But I had no idea where to go, since the fields are not in the city. Luckily I’m an excellent google-er, and within mere minutes of this bee entering my bonnet, I found a website dedicated to Holland Cycling!  Go figure.

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Click through for link to full route instructions!

On April 23, I rounded up a gaggle of some of my favourite international ladies and we hopped a train to Voorhout, via Haarlem. According to the route plotted out above, the 38km loop can be done in 2.5 hours. I have no idea if this is true. We got lost a few times, took pictures at nearly every field we saw (each one was a different colour combo, how could we not??) and stopped for a 5-star picnic lunch along the way. It was, without a doubt, one of the highlights of my trip so far.

A word of warning for anyone planning to try this for themselves, the numbered path markers on the Bloemen Route don’t go in numerical order and the signs are not always easy to spot. In the end, we were on the road for 4+ hours and only covered about 1/3 of the route. Thank you again, Beth, for taking over navigation… I regret nothing.

We saw this little guy before we saw any flowers. A good omen.
We saw this little guy before we even saw any flowers. A good omen.
Proud representatives of Canada, Sweden, Denmark and Australia.
Proud representatives of Canada, Sweden, Denmark and Australia.
Can anyone identify these? They smelled wonderful.
Can anyone identify these? They smelled wonderful. *Editor’s note! They are a fancy daffodil called “Cheerfulness” known for their very fragrant blooms. Mystery solved!
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Breathtaking.
Fisheye photo by Beth McIntyre.
Fisheye photo by Beth McIntyre.
Shutterbugs on the loose. Photo by Line Kvartborg Vestergaard.
Shutterbugs on the loose. Photo by Line Kvartborg Vestergaard.
Picnic extravaganza!
Picnic extravaganza!
This was where my film camera died 😞
This was where my film camera died 😞
Photo by Beth McIntyre
Photo by Beth McIntyre
Photo by Beth McIntyre
Photo by Beth McIntyre
Smell-o-vision required. Photo by Lucinda Bourke.
Smell-o-vision required. Photo by Lucinda Bourke.

As an end to a perfect day, we stopped for dinner in Haarlem on the way home, where we found what I assume is the world’s scariest ferris wheel. The cages spun! I loved it.

😬😆😃
😬😆😃
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Tiptoe Through the Tulips