Tulip fields

Oct 23rd, 2007, 05:30 AM
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We will be in Amsterdam from April 26th through May 11th, so much of our 'touring' will be on weekdays.

The hostess where we'll be staying informs me that Avis is not far away and that there is a parking facility nearby - one that apparently charges around 35 Euros per day. So getting a car for a few days is clearly viable. It's hard for me to estimate how much more efficient this would be as compared to public transportation.

Thanks for all your input ...
jmf314159 is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2007, 05:56 AM
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Hiring a car will give you the opportunity to go and see more of the Nehterlands than you can by public transport. The bulk of the commercial tulip fields are actually away from the Keukenhof area, around the Noordoostpolder in Flevoland. If you go there to see the bulbs you can also visit Blokzijl- a lovely old village, Schokland- a Unesco world heritage site, Staphorst-(though not on a Sunday!) to see local costumes still worn, or Urk- a former island where the local costume is also still occasionally worn. Again I don't recommend Urk on a Sunday. Also in that area is the Weerribben national park.
Or you can drive up to the Alkmaar area for bulbfields, and maybe go across the Afsluitdijk to Friesland for a day.
You will be in the Netherlands for Koniginnedag (Queen's day) and for Hemelvaartsdag (ascension Day). Are you planning on being in Amsterdam for those? I would avoid Keukenhof on Ascension Day.
hetismij is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2007, 06:13 AM
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Thank you. Yes, we'll be staying near Nieuwe Kerkstraat and Weesperstraat, and will most likely spend April 30th walking the streets, hunting for orange things to wear, and gawking like your typical tourist.

The Flevoland-Blokzijl-Schokland-Staphorst trip sounds wonderful ... and aggressive. How much of that is doable in a single day? Or might it make sense to stay over one night and, if so, where?
jmf314159 is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2007, 06:59 AM
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It is absolutely doable in a day - it will take about an hour to get there from Amsterdam if you go directly. You take the A1 and then the A6 through Flevoland. Once across the Ketelbrug into the Noordoostpolder you will see signs for Urk, then with the help of a good map you can find your way to Schokland, through the bulbfields, to Blokzijl for lunch, try a piece of Blokzijlerbrok (a sort of cake), then on to Staphorst via Meppel.
Staphorst and Urk are both deeply religious villages, and do not like outsiders gawking on Sundays. Also please ask before taking any photos of the ladies in their costumes. From Staphorst you can get on the A28 back towards Amsterdam.
If you have time and the inclination Giethoorn is also well worth a visit while you are in the area - it has no streets, just footpaths and canals through the old part of the village.
hetismij is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2007, 01:46 PM
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I suggest not driving around on Queen's Day. We took a tour & even the Dutch born tour guide & the bus driver could barely find their way around all of the road blockades. I guess many of the main access roads to the small towns are closed on Queen's Day.

JulieAgain is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2007, 04:31 PM
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If you have been to the midwest in the US, you will see the "tulip fields" while traveling by train, just like you would see the "corn/bean fields" here. I highly recommend going to Keukenhof. It was fantastic, very beautiful with lots of trails around ponds, etc, and a pretty view of the fields from a windmill. I would not hire a driver or take an organized tour to see the fields, unless you wanted a tour to learn about their planting and harvesting techniques.
luvtotravl is offline  
Oct 24th, 2007, 04:59 AM
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Again, we have no intention of driving around on Queen's Day except, perhaps, by public transportation - and that only to get a better appreciation for the day.

As for Keukenhof, one of the things we most enjoy doing at home is walking around the Chicago Botanic Garden, particularly in the Spring when the bulbs are in bloom, so I suspect we'll get to Keukenhof at least twice during our vacation.
jmf314159 is offline  
Oct 24th, 2007, 06:06 AM
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Public transportation in central Amsterdam is pretty much shut down on Queen's day due to crowding in the streets

and the past few years Amsterdam Centraal Station has also closed during the day due to horrendous overcrowding

so to travel around by public transit means going to the more subdued Station Zuid-WTC or some such outlying station to gain access to the intercity rail network
PalenQ is offline  
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