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Tulips akimbo at Keukenhof's spring garden

From JH Jonkman at Sassenheim it was about a 6km cycle ride to the famous Keukenhof gardens, just west of Lisse. This extravaganza of spring flowers is open only from March to May and features Holland's most iconic flower in a dazzling array of varieties, as well as lilies, hyacinths and narcissi. We went on a mid-week afternoon, but it was still incredibly busy with coach parties, although the car park was half empty, so be prepared for a full-on touristic experience, complete with a gift shop full of unbelievable tat. Outside the grounds is bollen-boulevard, a sort of gypsy camp of bulb sellers, cashing in on bulb-mania, although even my limited gardening knowledge told me that you can't plant tulips in April, right?


 

Sunny Scheveningen on sea

After an overnight stop in Delft, we made the short cruise up to Den Haag and the yacht harbour WSV De Vlietstreek. Although there are visitors harbours advertised nearer the city centre, the only one that's more than a bare quay is on the Bierkade, beyond a 2.35m bridge, so not much use for us. We were a bit surprised to get into the Binckhorsthaven as the Almanak showed the bridge as closed on Sundays and holidays but the 24-hour central control centre seemed to be operating as normal, and opened on request for us. We squeezed into one of the only boxes with a green board and were greeted in the harbour master's bestest English - nice that he made the effort although the cabin boy put him out of his misery quite quickly. It's a serviceable enough mooring, although without any showers, and we were provided with a key for the gate - the HM let us off the €5 deposit, at least he did until we lost the key! It's not the most attractive setting, surrounded by office buildings, a storage centre and some sort of car scrap yard, so I would suggest you only make a stop here if you're interested in visiting the attractions of Scheveningen or Den Haag.

It's a 6km cycle ride from here to the beach at Scheveningen and being a sunny Sunday it was absolutely crammed with Scheveningers en-fete. Being Easter Sunday we were treated to a selection of jazz podiums and there is a golden mile of beach tent bars and restaurants to choose from.