Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The tulip fields


DSC08605, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

Yesterday, I decided I would pay a visit to the tulip fields while they were still looking at their best. I had seen them from the train on the way to The Hague on Saturday morning and felt that the photo opportunities were too good to miss.

I decided to go by bike, despite the fact that it was a good deal cooler than the previous days (we had a maximum of 14 degrees instead of 25 the day before) and despite the fact that there was a stong wing blowing from the west, the direction of the tulip fields. The weathermen had promised more sun in the afternoon, but that only really happened for an hour or so around 6 pm, so not much use in the end.

Still, despite thinking of turning back a few times I made it all the way down there and was rewarded in the end by some spectacular views down across the tulip fields, from high up on a dyke, following a road I had never been down before. This photo is typical of the view one gets from above, a lot better than from the level. Here the heads of the red tulips have been cut off to allow the energy to flow into the bulbs, rather than seeds, whereby the bulbs will multiply, ready for sale and planting in the autumn.

I took a train back to Amsterdam from Hillegom, but was unable to buy a ticket for the bicycle through the ticket machine, so was a bit afraid of being caught out. I thought about cycling abck from Haarlem, with the wind behind me but decided to risk the journey to Sloterdijk, at least and here I got chatting to a couple of Romanian gypsies who come over to Holland for about six months a year to play music. On the way back from Sloterdijk, I had another look at Bos en Lommer in the late afternoon sunshine, where the parks and public spaces were full of people enjoying the late afternoon sunshine until the sun disappeared whereupon everyone quickly went back indoors.

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