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4/23 - Leiden to Noordwijkerhout - Today was all about the flowers -

the reason we planned this trip at this time of year -

prime tulip, daffodil, hyacinth blooming time. And we weren't disappointed!

                   

ABOVE - Fred and  in the elegant breakfast room at our Leiden B&B.

There was even a fireplace to warm us!

                   

Below - We saw several windmills near Zevenhuizen. Each is different from the next!

                   

We rode for probably 10 kilometers along flower fields.

Below, left - Scenic lunch stop. I can't go a day without posting at least one windmill picture!

Below, middle - This windmill is covered entirely with thatch!

                   

This field has every color hyacinth imaginable. I wish the picture could also let you sniff the fragrance!!

Below, right - Tulips - the nearest ones were mainly white with red accents

                   

Below, left - Judith in front of daffodil field - many sizes and shades of yellow & white

Below, middle - Hyacinths - love the blue ones! Below, right - Daffodils

                      

Below, middle - We made it to the world famous Keukenhof Gardens.

The gardens have more than 7 million tulips, daffodils & hyacinths in bloom.

                   

In addition to 32 hectares of flowers, the spring garden has 7 themed flower pavilions

and over 100 works of art scattered throughout the grounds.

                   

Below, left - 'Woodstock' Hyacinth,   middle - various tulips,    right - Tulipa 'Pink Twist'

                   

I took close ups of a few of our favorite tulips.

I could easily have taken thousands of pictures here!

Below, left - Flaming Spring Green tulips         Below, right -  Double Flaming Parrot.

                   

Below, middle - Tulipa 'Lundy'

                   

Below, middle - Royal Design

Below, right - Acropolis Notice Judith's hand to give you an idea of the size!

Does anyone grow tulips this big at home?

                   

Below, middle - Tulipa 'Chrystal Star'

Below, right - Tulipa 'Fire Wings'

                   

Below, left - Tulipa 'Beauty of Spring', 'Candy Apple Delight', and 'Apricona'

Below, middle - Apricot Amor

Below, right - Astilbe 'Diamant'

                   

Below, left - Shirley
Judith said this was her favorite, but I think she said that of about a hundred...

                   

Below, left - Tulipa 'Calgary',     middle - Tulipa 'Belicia',     right - Tulipa 'Aquila'

                   

Below - A mix of tulips, hyacinths and even some crocus in this flowerbed

                   

Below, middle - Hyacinths

                   

Below - Tiptoeing through the tulips, Judith with red and yellow tulips, Judith in front of hyacinths

                   

Below, left - Judith on lily pads in the lake, Below, middle -  Lily pads and sculpture

                  

We had to wait in line for these lily pad photos - they were very popular!

                   

Below, left - A wall of white and purple orchids behind us

                   

A few of the numerous sculptures around the gardens

                   

Below - The fragrance of these hyacinths was spectacular -

and especially good for our allergies. Love the pastel colors of this group!

                   

Below, left - Red tulips - amazing edges to the petals

Below, right - Bromeliads shared the same pavilion with the orchids

                   

Next we visited the orchid pavilion

Below, middle - Spectacular blue-purple orchid