Great excitement in Noordwijk this morning, not for the grey weather, but for the Flower procession leaving from here and wending its way through the villages between here and Haarlem- coincidentally our destination too. Luckily we had a sneak preview yesterday when we found the floats assembled and ready to go on our ride into Keukenhof… so off we set along the dunes again and heading northwards.
Beaches in Europe are certainly utilised differently than at home in Australia. There is no way a kilometre or more of beach would be set aside for two-deep beach shacks or for a string of cafes built right on the sand. Interesting to think how many people actually cram these beaches when summer finally hits!
Our short ride had us in Haarlem and checked in to our cosy B&B super early, giving us time to explore the narrow streets and the wonderful little Hans Haals gallery, just behind our bedroom! Lots of group portraits of cavaliers, board directors and council members all prettily offset by spectacular floral arrangements… very well done!
By the time we left the gallery the floral procession was arriving, accompanied by brass bands, side show attractions and excited crowds. Once again we let the locals have their merriment whilst we nestled into dinner (and a birthday champagne for me!) at a cozy French Bistro. Lovely!