I was planning to take the 10:09 train to Schagen, where Lous would pick me up from the station. But that train was cancelled, because of a logistics limitation. Did the driver oversleep, haha? Not the first time I had problems with the Dutch Railways. The delay gave me time to buy a coffee and a cookie.
My plan was to invite Lous and Arend for a nice dinner, but she suggested to have an asparagus dinner at home, where I would pay for the ingredients. We went to a countryside shop, where surprisingly I found a self-service section, where you put money in a slot, to open a compartment and take the contents. For Dutch readers: similar to the FEBO fast food automats.
On our way back to their bungalow, we already passed the first tulip fields
The bungalow, where Lous and Arend have been living already for decades is located in Valkkoog, a small village. The bungalow has a beautiful garden
After lunch Lous and I visited the Poldertuin in Anna Paulowna, a kind of miniature Keukenhof. Free access, not many people know about it. I have been there several times and every time is is sensational.
The Poldertuin in all its glory.
An orgy of colours.
The varieties in form and color are amazing
During our visit the tulips were in full bloom, but there were other flowers too, We liked these grape hyacinths
After our visit of the Poldertuin, we drove around a bit in the Kop van Noord-Holland, a region famous for its tulip farms. Personally I I like these geometric patterns even more than the arranged compositions in de Poldertuin and the Keukenhof..
Actually in these flower farms, the flowers are not important. The farmers are interested in the flower bulbs! That is why the tulips are “beheaded” when they are in full bloom, so all energy will go to the bulbs. In these two photos you can see that in some plots the tulips were “kopped” (beheaded). Notice the beheaded tulips in the paths between the plots.
It was time for a drink. We went to beach café Nogal Wiedus near Huisduinen. A famous lighthouse is located there, nicknamed the Lange Jaap (tall Jacob) It is one of the tallest lighthouses in the world. The authorities are worried that it might topple over, so access is not allowed.
On our way back home, we passed more tulip fields. By climbing a dune, I could get almost an aerial view. A drone would have been even better.
Arend had prepared a nice dinner with the ingredients we had bought earlier. Strawberries and blueberries as dessert
We had seen enough tulips, so the next morning we visited a small nature reserve, Wildrijk. Originally part of a country estate, established in 1630 by a rich Amsterdam Merchant. The mansion is no more, only the park remains. On our way we passed several stalls where people could buy flowers or bulbs. Unattended, prices are indicated and you just put the required amount in a cash box. People still trust each other in the countryside 😉
We had a relaxed walk in the park, which is well known for its wild hyacinths (a.k.a bluebells)
Blue-violet is the most common color
But you can also find other colors. white and pink
During WWII German soldiers were housed here in underground bunkers. Quite a few remain, but you can not enter them
More photos. I had never heard about this place, a real gem, it was worth our visit.
For our lunch we went to Schagen,, the Peper en Goud cafe, where we met my nephew Jeroen, a nice, unexpected surprise. Jeroen’s son Teun also joined with his girlfriend, so it became a family reunion. I had my favourite lunch,a broodje kroket 😉
On our way back home, not far from Valkkoog, one last tulip field.
A tasty Korean dish , Dak Bokum, for dinner. And a beautiful sunset
The next morning I took the train back to Amsterdam As usual a very nice visit.
Here is a Google Earth map of the region, where I have marked some locations we have visited