Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Keukenhof, Leiden

photo by pIf paradise had a flower garden, it would look like Keukenhof.
I was a bit hesitant at first and thought that this was another one of those lousy tourist traps. What would a macho man (*cough cough*) like me do in a flower garden? Traipse among the daisies? Run around with a rose behind my ear?

Of course not. But I came really, really close.

It was so beautiful that I started to quota poetry! I realized how utterly useless these flowers were-- they were simply there to be admired. However R.W. Emerson knew what he was talking about when he said that "beauty is its own excuse for being".

photo by pThere's a real garden labyrinth with 10 foot tall shrubs as walls. (You would get lost if not for the watch tower in the middle of the gaden.) Comfy lounging chairs under the sun, cherry blossoms, a river with swans, a windmill, reflecting pools, playgrounds for children and lots and lots and lots of colorful flowers.

This place was engineered for photo-ops and cam whores would go crazy. If you can afford it, this is where all brides should have their photos taken.

P's Keukenhof Tips:

  • Buy the ticket online (EUR18) or at the Leiden Centraal train station to avoid the long lines.
  • Get there early and leave before 5:30pm to avoid the massively long queue at the bus stop. There is only one express bus that leaves Keukenhof for Leiden Centraal.
  • BUT, do stay until the park closes at 7:30 because this is the best light for taking photos. Don't worry about the looooong line at the bus because I've got a hot tip exclusively for the ReviewsByP readers...
  • There is an alternative bus stop 10 minutes away! Walk out of the Keukenhof, make a left and walk straight past the roundabout. Bus 57 on your left leaves every hour and terminates at the train station. Show your Keukenhof ticket and you get to ride for free! It's not an express so it takes a bit longer but it's not as stressful as standing in line. Take a nap and when you wake up, you'll be at Leiden Centraal.
Five pawikan points! Great for photographers, couples or families with kids. I'm going to gloss over the absurdly long lines at the toilet (BTW, toilets aren't free!) because there's so many pretty things to see here. This truly is the most beautiful that I've ever seen and will be the garden I will measure all other gardens.
photo by pphoto by p

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