Blooming gorgeous

Timing is of the essence when it comes to seeing the tulip fields in The Netherlands at their best. This season was unusually warm so there was a very short window of opportunity for peak viewing.

Rows and rows of vibrantly coloured tulips
More gorgeous blooms

The town of Lisse is located at the centre of the bulb growing area but by the time we arrived there most of the tulips had already been harvested.

Fields of tulips as far as the eye could see
Got to pose when you’ve ticked off a bucket list item!

We drove on to the nearby village of Hillgom where we were fortunate enough to see row upon row of brightly gorgeous coloured blooms. Such an amazing sight and another bucket list item ticked off!.

A rugged individualist
Ducks amongst the tulips

Another splendid horticultural experience to be had in that part of the Netherlands is at the Clingendael parkland in Wassenaar, just outside The Hague.

The Clingendael Manor House in Wassenaar
There were so many beautiful trees

Many baby animals maps to be cooed over

Such amazing colours!

The grounds belong to the 17 Century Clingendael Manor House and are very beautiful in their own right but the “jewel in the crown” is the stunning Japanese Garden.

The Japanese Garden was stunning
Sumptuous contrasting colours
There were some beautiful and peaceful quiet spots
And bridges begging to be crossed

Created at the beginning of the twentieth century by the Baroness Marguérite van Brienen, the garden still has the same layout and design as it did when it was first built and contains various artefacts that the Baroness brought back from Japan. These include water casks, a bridge, pavilion and stone lanterns.

The gardens are only open for a few weeks a year so we’re quite busy
Such wonderful ambiance
Unusual use of colours
A Buddha brought back from Japan by Baroness Marguérite van Brienen

Because the garden is extremely fragile it’s only open for a few weeks a year so we felt very fortunate to be in the right place at the right time!

We were so lucky to be there at the right time!

We were also fortunate to be in Delft when one of its ancient windmills – De Roos (The Rose) windmill – was open to the public.

De Roos windmill in Delft

There has been a windmill in this location since 1352 and a wooden mill was built there in 1679 which was used for grinding corn. This was replaced in the eighteenth century by a larger stone mill which is the one in existence today.

There was a traditional organ grinder playing music

De Roos Windmill has seven floors and we were able to see an exhibition about the history of windmills in the Delft area in its attic.

Some of the inner workings of the windmill
There were many steps to be climbed
But the view was worth it!
Listening to the sails on the windmill was a little bit like being on a sailboat

We had to climb up a number of very narrow ladders to get to the top but it was totally worth it as the view from the top was wonderful.

Cycling home after our windmill visit
Feeding the horses on the way home

A double rainbow at dinner
Celebrating with limoncello

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Salty tales from Bali Hai

In 2015, after a break from cruising of almost 30 years, my husband and I sailed off into the sunset - this time to the wonderful Islands of Indonesia and beyond. Three years passed and we swapped sails for wheels driving through Scandinavia and Europe in a motor home. Now we are on the brink of another adventure - buying a Lagoon 420 Catamaran in Athens. This is our story.

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