Travel Europe

English Cottage Gardens

It is hard to beat the beauty of English Cottage Gardens. You can see beautiful roses over the stone walls and flowers along curvy pathways leading you to keep exploring. You can see many perennial flowers such as hollyhocks, hardy geraniums, buttercups, daisies, asters, delphiniums and the beautiful foxgloves. Just think of Thomas Kinkade paintings of Cotswolds Cottages. Yes, this is for real and not just in a painting. Once such place is the Hidcote Gardens in the Cotswolds (started by an American horticulturist Major Lawrence Johnston) and now under the care of the National Trust of United Kingdom. Why not visit a castle and the gardens at the same time like the one at Sissinghurst Castle (Kent)? If you are in the South of England, do take time to visit the Mottisfont Abbey Rose Garden in Hampshire.

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Visit A Garden On Your Travels!

There is nothing like a beautiful garden that can feed your soul and rejuvenate you on your travels. You get see the beauty of God’s creation along with human design and cultivation.

Keukenhof (kitchen garden) is such a place. The Dutch have a knack for gardening for sure. You can spend hours in this place. I used my layover at the Amsterdam Schiphol Airport to visit this beautiful place. It is only open during the Spring months as this is a Spring Garden. Spring is such a beautiful time of the year as the flowers bloom in the beautiful Spring Sun and cool Spring air.

If you have a chance to visit England, do take time to visit the English Cottage Gardens in the Summer months.

Keukenhof tulilp garden
Keukenhof flower garden Holland

Flying KLM Royal Dutch Airlines

Schiphol International Airport Netherlands

Schiphol International Airport Netherlands

Amsterdam Schiphol International Airport  (AMS) is a good place start your trip to Europe or connect to the far corners of the earth. Flying KLM Royal Dutch Airlines from the US to Europe gives you plenty of good flight options. You get good flying times  and good connections.

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (merged with Air France) resulting in another major hub in Europe which is Paris–Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG). Delta Airlines (merged with Northwest Airlines)  partners with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines to provide most of the US side of the connections to Europe. Major hubs such as Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (ATL) and Minneapolis-St.Paul International Airport (MSP) makes connections to Europe a breeze.  For an example an easy connection from Wichita Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport to either Minneapolis or Atlanta and then non-stop to Amsterdam.

AAmsterdam Schiphol Airport

Amsterdam Schiphol Airport

Once you get into Amsterdam, you can connect to pretty much anywhere in the world. There is even a non-stop flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL KLIA1 or KLIA2 Malaysia), which then connects you to pretty much anywhere in the Asia Pacific region.

 Amsterdam Schiphol Railway Station

Amsterdam Schiphol Railway Station

Amsterdam Schiphol Train Station is the place to start your train connections. You can even connect to Belgium right from Schiphol Airport Train Station.

Amsterdam Centraal Train Station Netherlands

Amsterdam Centraal Train Station Netherlands

Amsterdam is only like 20 minutes away from Schiphol Airport. Take a train to Amsterdam Centraal Train Station from which you can get on a train to pretty much anywhere in Europe.

 


River Thames Cruise London United Kingdom

Thames London United Kingdom

Thames London United Kingdom

London Thames Clippers

London Thames Clippers

 

I had very little time in London on one of my trips but sure made the most of it. It was raining but I got into a Thames Clipper (fast river boat), stayed warm and dry while watching one landmark after another go by. You can really see a lot by just taking a ride in one of these beautiful Thames Clippers.

London River Cruise

London Tower Bridge – River Cruise

I started from the Emirates Air Line (which is a cable line that goes across the Thames River), with an aerial view of London. It is a beautiful view if you don’t mind the heights. I then took a Thames Clipper to London Eye. Worth every penny spent! Once you get off at the London Eye, you can walk across the Westminster Bridge to Big Ben. You can take all the photos from the Westminster Bridge with the Big Ben and the Parliament buildings in the background. Walk a little further and visit the Westminster Abbey. It is gorgeous. There is an Underground Tube station (Subway Train)  nearby that will hustle you to your next destination.

Westminster Tube Station London

Westminster Tube Underground Subway Station London United Kingdom


Schiphol International Airport Amsterdam Netherlands

Schiphol Train Hub Amsterdam

Schiphol Train Hub Amsterdam

An amazing airport where you can shop, dine, sleep, shower, check into a hotel and it is all integrated with a sophisticated transportation hub. It is also beautifully designed to make you feel like you have room to rest and relax! You can pretty much fly from anywhere to every where. They have places where you can securely lock your luggage and leave the airport for a trip into Amsterdam or connect to major European cities by train. The airport is clean and green (eco friendly). Most locals speak good English, friendly and helpful to travelers. The security screening process is also efficient and fast given the number of passengers that are routed from this airport.

Schiphol International Airport Netherlands

Schiphol International Airport Netherlands

Schiphol is the hub for the KLM (Royal Dutch) Airlines. Many other Premium and Low Cost Carriers fly via Schiphol Amsterdam. There is no need to drive or take a train to get to your low cost airlines if that is your choice.  This makes the airport a great hub to start your journey into Europe or other continents.

Schiphol International Airport Netherlands

 


Keukenhof Gardens in Netherlands

 

Keukenhof Flower Gardens is the most beautiful flower garden I have ever visited. During a long layover between flights during Spring at the Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (a fantastic transportation hub integrated with bus/train depots) , I took a bus to Keukenhof Gardens.  People are friendly and helpful in Amsterdam and they speak good English. The bus driver was a joy. Once you get to the gardens which is open only in Spring, you will see millions of bulbs of tulips, daffodils, hyacinths and more.  Not to mention about all the flower displays at the pavilions and fun Spring events. You can even take a boat ride in the Garden Canals from the Dutch Wind Mill. You can also grab a bite to eat and enjoy free WiFi at the same time! Pictures cannot describe the beauty of this place. You just have to get out and walk around and enjoy the beautiful scenery and breathe the clean Spring air. It helped break my jetlag and made a tired layover into a memorable fun trip.