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Guest Blog: Netherlands & Greece - A Cultural Adventure, Part 1

Keukenhof Gardens, Amsterdam

Bernard’s previous trips to Amsterdam and Berlin gave us an engrossing account of the cities’ culture. We helped organise a return to the Dutch capital for him and his partner, Mercedes, from where their report begins…

“The main reason to return to Amsterdam was to revisit the Keukenhof Gardens and, in spite of the chilly weather, the experience could not have proved more satisfactory. Unlike last year, the tulips predominated and we can safely say that we have never seen a display like these. We thoroughly enjoyed our day, although we would have needed three or four more days to see the whole park!

The other highlight of our stay in Amsterdam was the superb Brahms' Violin Concerto and Beethoven's "Eroica" Symphony, performed by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. Conducted by Myung-Whun Chung with a magnificent substitute soloist, Isabelle Faust, the concert was fantastic. Isabelle was a top-class violinist, one of the finest we have ever seen! The seats that Abbotts secured for us were very good, incredibly so, taking into consideration the short notice. The Concertgebouw is one of our favourite concert halls, along with the Musikverein in Vienna and the Municipal Hall in Prague, and the Orchestra is one of the finest.

As we were in Holland for a fairly short time, we decided not to repeat our visits to the magnificent Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum, or return to Delft or The Hague, which are nevertheless, places for which we have great affection.

Instead we caught the train from the splendid Amsterdam Central Station to Haarlem, where we spent a few pleasant hours in the magnificent main square with its great church and other imposing civil buildings.

On our last day, we decided to go to the Technology Museum, which is especially made for children. We were pleased to find that we could go up to the roof and marvel at the delightful view over the whole city. We were also able to find some interesting books and puzzles at the Ground Floor Bookshop. Perhaps, one day, we shall return with our Great Nephew and Great Niece, who would almost certainly have a wonderful time.

Overall, it was a superb trip!”


Another view of Keukenhof Gardens, Amsterdam
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