As if the Como trip was nt hectic enough, we went to Amsterdam last weekend. This trip was planned even before the Como trip actually. I ve been wanting to see the Keukenhof Tulip Gardens for the past 3 years and since the garden is open only 2 months in a year, it just was nt happening for us. At last, we managed this year and what a sight it was! It was terribly cold for this time of the year but we managed to see a little bit of the city and Keukenhof in the two and half a days we were there.
We landed in Schiphol around lunch time. Took the airport to hotel shuttle and reached our hotel. Antu protested against being a lap child on the plane and promptly sat in Hds seat and even wore the seat belt herself (and I wonder why the poor air hostesses show people how to wear the belt! I mean for who's benefit?) and refused to budge. Hd was standing until the seat belt sign came on and then I bribed Antu with a biscuit, distracted her and sang to her and she went to sleep. Phew! She got up only when we reached our hotel room! Now that's what I call effective teleportation!! We ate the sandwiches we bought from the airport, got ready and went to the city. We roamed around the Central area and took a tram to Vondelpark. Walked a while in the park. But it got terribly cold, so we bought some falafel to go and rushed back to our hotel.
We took the shuttle to the airport and from there took a bus to Keukenhof. It was a bit cold and the tulip fields were nt as colorful as I thought they would be. But the garden itself is worth the trip. It is AMAZING! It is the worlds largest flower garden and seven million bulbs are planted every year in this 80 acre garden, so let your imagination wild! There are tulips, narcissus and hyacinth everywhere you look. In pots and planters. Different shapes and sizes. All clearly labeled. The effort it takes to keep this garden baffles me! There is also a cute kids play area with farm animals. A picturesque windmill. An indoor flower show. A flower shop. Restaurants. Museum. A free guided tour. And even though thousands and thousands of people visit in these 2 months, the place is so huge that its no big deal. We were there the whole day. Antu napped, lunched, snacked and went "aiii fowers!" every few minutes and then gave up after a while! Ashu was enthralled by the whole place.
My sore throat worsened and I was feverish. But nothing could stop me from venturing out. We reached the city after our breakfast and went straight to the Van Gogh museum. It has been my dream to go visit this museum since it did nt happen when we went to Amsterdam nine years back. At last, it was fulfilled. We have a small Sunflowers print in our house so Ashu knows a little about the painter from me. She was looking forward to see the original painting. Antu was in the stroller looking around for a while and then slept off. I bought myself an audio guide and saw that they had a children's audio guide too. Ashu was thrilled to have her own guide and where ever there was a butterfly symbol near a painting, she would punch that number in her guide and listen to the tape about that painting. What more fun for a kid, huh? We both were in our own worlds for a good part of the museum trip. She just understood bits and pieces of words here and there and coined her own story. (The Potato Eaters - "They are eating potato amma. And they are not happy. They are sad." Sunflowers - "Thats Van Goghs favorite flower, amma. I like sunflowers too. But I like Tulips more after we saw them yesterday. We have this painting at home." Almond Blossom - "He painted it for a baby, Amma. I think its for a boy because its blue. He painted the tree first and then the sky. I love this one, Amma. Can we buy this?" Poppies and butterflies - "This is my favorite amma. It has butterflies.") I don't know what was more exciting. Seeing the largest collection of Van Goghs paintings or seeing them with Ashu!
After a hurried lunch, we rushed to the airport to catch our plane back to Zurich. Reached home around dinner time. I cant help but wonder how a plane ride, however short it may be, just exhausts everyone out. Anyway, the spring break(what spring?! bah!) has been really good. We braved bad weather, illness and what not to see the places we planned to see. So yay us!!