Friday, April 20, 2007


After Patrick finished his exam, I took two days off from teaching and we took a relaxing trip to the Neatherlands to enjoy the scenery. The main purpose of our spring trip was to go to Keukenhof, the flower park in Lisse, Neatherlands. Thanks to the internet, I learned that the 70 acre park has more than 6 million flowers. We drove down on Tuesday, the trip set to take four and a half hours more or less. We crossed the boarder after about two hours without any problem. In fact, noone checked us into or out of either country. The sky was overcast when we left and most of the way so we decided it best to stop in Amsterdam on Tuesday and enjoy the flower park on Wednesday as the forcast was only for partly cloudy on Wednesday. We wandered about Amsterdam for a couple of hours, enjoying the sights. Amsterdam is so pretty during the day. The sun began to come out. We took a stroll through a market. The architecture in the Neatherlands is so much more intense than in Germany. In Germany buildings are either rectangular or half timber. In the Neatherlands, especialy outer Amsterdam and the areas surronding the Autobahn, buildings defy normalcy. They come in all shapes and it is not uncommon to see asymetrical designes. As this was my first time driving in Holland, I had expected to see tulip fields on the side of the Autobahn as in the photos I've seen. Somehow those are only west of Amsterdam but they are breathtakingly beautiful. West of Amsterdam one will also find the Atlantic ocean. Our hotel was actualy walking distance to the ocean. I dipped my toes, or rather I rolled up my jeans and put my feet in ankle deep. It was nice. The hotel was so cute and homey I loved everything about it including the rumpus room like lounge area in the basement complete with leather couches, a flat screen TV, computers and a stash of classic board games. In the morning we had breakfast and set off for the park. The Kaukenhof is the largest spring bulb park in the world but I never would have predicted it would draw such a crowd! It was like Disney World but full of adults. I dare say it is a peaceful setting becasue that is only true when you find yourself in a distant area unreached by the masses. In spite of the crowd it was still awesome. I took almost 300 photos in the park and I wasen't the only one. Everyone was taking photographs, art was placed throughout the park to encourage photography. We saw two TV crews filming in the park, one from the BBC, I was unable to identify the other. There were also many elderly visitors in wheel chairs, making me realize why the senior discount is only 2 euros. The median age of park visitors is most likely around 40. This is not to say that there were no young people. There were not many children but other than that the audience was quite varried. I heard English, American English, German, French, Dutch, some type of Chinese and I'm sure many more languages were represented. In Holland it seems that most people speak Dutch, English and German. Dutch is a crazy language. It sounds like German with a HEAVY accent. All of the sins are only in Dutch EVERYWHERE so we began to decipher the language, it was easier for Patrick due to the similarities to German. Pretty much, you take the German word add a j somewhere, usualy in the end and double either the first or last vowel and you've gout Dutch haha. I guess that's not a fool-proof method but it seems like it would work. The trip was amazing and at over 50 times the size of Wembly stadium, Kaukanhof truly is a Super Garden!

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