Different weekend this time.
My parents had won the lottery. Nothing major of course but 4 tickets to the keukenhof. The keukenhof is one of those traditional things about the Netherlands that every tourist wants to see and because it is so utterly Dutch you sort of don’t go there if you are Dutch.
However as my parents had the tickets we decided this was a nice way to spend some time with them. So on Friday we met up for some lunch. From there we went to the Keukenhof. We were lucky with the weather. No rain, a little sun, but not too hot and a little windy. Lovely to spend time outside. SO and I had no idea what to expect except tulips (sure we have seen the pictures as well). Much to our surprise we actually loved it. SO was taking pictures (to follow later) on a regular basis crawling into the flowers, as suggested in the little book we got.
The colours were amazing. We saw fantastic new tulips, large, small, double, triple, with edging, amazing colour schemes (yellow and pink), rolling petals, curled and rolled petals. You name it and they had it.
Then there is the orchid pavilion. Wonderful beautiful and amazing. The different bouquets and colour variations We were just completely in awe. So after about 4 hours we were tired. Feet were sore and we decided enough was enough. However as a result of this visit, I have had to review my idea of this being stuffy and old-fashioned. It is actually really worthwhile. Only drawback it is in spring only for about 2 months, so timing is of the essence.
Weary and tired, we said let’s have a little meal. Something like pancakes or otherwise simple. Well we used our navigation system to pick a restaurant. We kinda liked the name het oude dijkhuis (the old house on the dike) thinking that would be nice and possibly a pancake place. Well it was nice, and if we had really wanted they probably would have made us pancakes. It is in the Michelin guide, no star but recommended. Totally different from what we had in mind, but we decided to go there anyway. We had a lovely evening. A very nice meal with coffee and divine chocolate truffle at the end of the meal. Then at the end of the evening we ended up having a bit of an issue. We picked up the tab. My parents were not completely in agreement with the payment. We of course were not deterred. Even got a phone call this morning saying we want to pay half. Answer no, no, no, no. It is fun to sometimes treat your parents.
We were home late as a result. So this morning we slept in, and pottered around. Then we went to the highlight of the day. We went to see Cirque du soleil – Varekai in Amsterdam. This was the show we had missed in NZ. For those that missed it SO was supposed to come to NZ over New Years and I had purchased tickets for the show. However he ended up not coming due to family circumstances and I went to the Netherlands instead. Of course I could not use the tickets and gave them away. This way we could see it anyway, but with better seats.
With Cirque du soleil this is relative of course. We had front row tickets. So when we walked in an attendant said; ‘I will walk you to your chair’ and he grabbed my hand. Only then I realised I was the one that gets the run around! He tried to pull me onto the stage and I was like noooooooo. The other clown took SO and took him quite the opposite way from me. Three turns around the pillar with numbers and SO I waving from two different sides of the grand chapiteau. Then we were led to our seats. It was fun.
The show was magnificent. We had two minor incidents. In one case on of the acrobats injured his shoulder and we suspect the act was shortened as a result, though he did proceed for a bit, but you could see he was in pain. The other one was after the intermezzo and it was dark. They had to spread out a cloth over the stage and all you could really see were the fireflies. All of a sudden we hear ‘PLONK’. One of the assistants that was doing the cloth had fallen over the side of the stage. It was funny! (no injury we think).
Being seated at the front gives you a real view of all details in costume and make up. It is magical. The act with straps has the men flying over the audience. Literally right in front of your nose. I mean I was staring straight into this mans private parts. They were honestly inches away. Also people walked up and down the aisles and you see so much more. Drawback; looking up to see the air acts is a bit more than in the back, but it is a small price to pay. After that there was the shopping. We ended up with the DVD only.