After visiting the windmills of Kinderdijk we returned to Avalon Luminary for lunch. It was great to sit down and dine while watching the beautiful scenery as we sailed towards Rotterdam, where we were to board coaches for the journey to Lisse, home of the famous Keukenhof Flower Park. This would turn out to be perhaps the highlight of our cruise. I have seen some beautiful gardens in my travels around the world but none could come close to the acres of tulips, daffodils and hyacinths that were in such abundance in these gardens.
The tulips were the real stars, all picture perfect and my camera was in overdrive. There were several pavilions housing many different varieties. Virtually every bloom was a masterpiece – no imperfect blooms to be seen anywhere. Our main reason for booking this cruise was to see Floriade and the tulips of Holland.
In some of the pavilions, local traditional dancers performed in national dress. There were several spots to sit down and have coffee or hot chocolate served with delicious pastries, the local most popular treat was profitjes, served with a chocolate sauce. At the end of the season, which runs from March to May each year, the whole park is mulched and newly designed plantings start for the following year. This is definitely a not-to-be-missed attraction.