Photos from the archives: Essential Holland

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Windmill at Keukenhof. About at clichéd as one can get. Still a nice photo :p.

Windmill at Keukenhof. About at clichéd as one can get. Still a nice photo :p.

Not much to say about this one – it is what it is. The crop isn’t great, due to the fact I had to take this from down low with my A700, which didn’t have a tilt/flip screen. But, you can’t knock the essence of Holland!

As with the cathedral, there will probably be a few more pictures like this coming up later…

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Bulb flowers rule!

the Bollenstreek

Flying home!The right time of year, at the right place, with the right weather. In other words, a brilliantly sunny day in April in the Bollenstreek.

There is no place in the world like the Bollenstreek (“bulb region”) in spring, anywhere, anytime. There, I said it. And of course within the Bollenstreek there is nothing like the Keukenhof. On their website they claim to be the most photographed place on earth – which I was a bit skeptical about when reading. Well… I am a believer now. Never ever have I seen so many people with so many cameras taking so many pictures of so many… flowers. (All the different nationalities are quite cool too, a real microcosm of the world.)

the Keukenhof

Cycling there through all the flower fields is already an amazing sight:

Beautiful, big...tulips!

Beautiful, big...tulips!

And then the Keukenhof (the name means “kitchen garden” – in the 15th century it was exactly that, being part of the castle of Jacoba van Beieren) itself… well I was there a few years ago but had quite forgotten, or not even realised, how stunning it actually is. Some photographic impressions follow to try and illustrate my point…

Some parts are set up as a park...

Some parts are set up as a park...

... while others are just arty ads for flowers

... while others are just arty ads for flowers

The central, and in my opinion easily the most impressive, pavillion, is the Willem-Alexander pavillion. It features simply the most amazing collection of cultured tulip breeds you can think of. It makes you feel very sympathetic to the people who got infected with tulip mania – it does make you wanna wanna wanna have them!

The Willem-alexander pavilion, home of amazing tulips

The Willem-Alexander pavilion, home of amazing tulips

Those white tulips were at least half a meter high – incredible!

But also in the park itself there are plenty of stunners, such as these. Must be the reddest flowers I’ve ever seen!

No need to photoshop this one

No need to photoshop this one

As I said, everyone from every place on earth is there, and is taking photographs all the time :-).

And from everywhere they come

And from everywhere they come

Just for photo geeks, my lens (this time it was the Tamron 24-135) turns out to be an excellent macro lens – not surprising, given 135mm with a minimal focal distance of around 30 cm. Here’s a sample of what that means. Nothing special, it’s a “just because I can :-P” photo.

Up close & personal with a tulip

Up close & personal with a tulip

So all in all a great day out, not a little helped by the great summery weather (22°C!!). Not something you do every year, by the end you really have seen more than enough tulips, daffodils and hyacinths, but still… very nice!

Until another time..?!

Until another time..?!