Saturday, 24 November 2012

Cycling in the De Hoge Veluwe National Park

Day 57 - Cycling to the Grand Masters...
When my friend left Australia to return home to the Netherlands, I promised to visit so we could go cycling in Holland together - today was that day...
We're off to a 5000 hectares park - that's maybe a small bike ride for the locals, but for me it seemed like it could be a big ask!!!
I needn't have worried, the De Hoge Veluwe National Park has 1700 free white bikes for park users to explore the 40 kilometers of cycle paths. The tracks are great, the bikes easy to pedal and all the major attractions are not too far away....




First stop is the bike park just inside the main gates to choose a bicycle of the right height. We set off to the visitors centre, museum and park shop wrapped up warmly in our hats, gloves and scarves ... It was chilly, but had all the promise of a spectacular autumn day, the park resplendent, cloaked in bright orange the leaves crunching as we cycled along the paths....




Just look at that sunshine - how lucky are we?
The park has numerous sights to enjoy in addition to the natural parkland, it is the largest privately managed conversation area in the nation. The countryside alone would be worth the visit, it is a varied landscape of heathland, woodland, peat bogs and drift sand.
However, we have things to see, places to pedal so we fortify ourselves for the day ahead with a brief stop for coffee and appeltaart in front of a roaring fire at the cafe... How lovely, I could have stayed there all day...!




The underground Park museum has interesting hands-on displays about the parklands flora and fauna, including what has lived and still lives beneath the earth's surface...
Cycling deeper into the Park we find the world famous Kroller-Muller museum which includes works by Vincent Van Gogh, Picasso, Renoir and Monet amongst others. There are also 150 sculptures in the park...




The Museum owes it's existence to Helen Kroller-Muller (1869-1939) who started collecting art early in the 1900's and collected almost 11,500 art works. Her favourite artist was Vincent Van Gogh and the collection includes the largest numbers of Van Gogh's outside the Van Gogh family...




This is one of my favourite Art Museums in the world. It is an impressive collection yet small enough to savour every painting....Being hidden deep in the park and cycling to it, adds to it's attraction...




We proceed onto the Kroller-Muller's house, currently undergoing extensive renovations it will look fabulous when finished. As the shadows lengthened, we returned to the park entrance, we reckon we cycled around 12km's that day...not bad for a foreigner...

This was a perfect day in Holland, we combined the national pastime of cycling, with amazing scenery, Vincent Van Gogh and brilliant sunshine - what more could a girl want?

Maybe dinner in an amazing restaurant? Yes, I was very lucky to be treated to dinner at De Bon Vivant... The food was great and it had a great atmosphere with much local game as you would expect given the local surrounding countryside. The menu had some great suggestions such as Grandmothers Sorrow and a warning beware the hail in the game! A brilliant end to a brilliant day...






Little Wandering Wren

Location:Hoenderloo, The Netherlands, Europe

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