, I highlighted the great fun and pleasure that come with being tourist in your own country. My intention to do this more often has not faded away ever since. In contrast, this has mingled itself with a significant level of excitement that is continuously being fueled by every touristic adventure I take in my native land. After so many exploratory trips within my home country, it is time to give you another update on this hobby of mine. Let me outline an unforgettable escape to a forest-rich region called the Veluwe. The different landscape structures and wild animals that can be found here make the Veluwe a very popular destination for both locals and tourists. Let me take you with me on a trip to this green treasury the Dutch way.
As the Veluwe is a complete region, stretching 60 kilometers from north to south, it is impossible to visit every corner within one day. This is why many of us take one or two days out to explore the environment. For me, one day was just perfect in which I could just tick off the highlights I wanted to do. A visit to the National Park Hoge Veluwe has always been high on my bucketlist. So you understand that I could not choose another location than this one for my boyfriend’s surprise trip. The park is part of the Veluwe and takes up 6% of this total nature reserve. This recreational area is maintained by a foundation. In this way, the different landscapes are remained and wild animals (including deers, wild boars and foxes) are being protected.
Before entering this park, I first picked up the bikes at a bike rental company in Hoenderloo, a village in the Veluwe region. One of these bikes was equipped with a dog basket so that our dog could also come with us on this adventure. At the entrance of the national park, there were white bikes which visitors can borrow to cycle around the area but unfortunately they did not come with dog baskets. After collecting the bikes, we had a picnic as lunch in the beautiful sand dunes just outside the park.
When arrived in the park, it was amazing to see how the landscape changes beneath our feet, from woodlands to sand dunes and from heath to small lakes. They also form perfect photoshoot locations. Although we went there on a Saturday, it was fortunately not that crowded. We saw people cycle, mountainbike, walk and drive around in the park. Not to forget our furry friends who happily played and ran around. It was a pity that we could not spot any wild animals there. We have been told that they usually hide for people and only show up after sunset.
In the park itself, there are also other attractions. This includes Museonder, the world’s first underground museum. It exhibits the remainings of the animals and plants that once lived here. The entrance ticket to the park provides a free visit to the museum. A little further from this, another museum can be found: Kröller-Müller Museum. This is a museum for the art and was founded by art collector Helene Kröller-Müller. Her art collection from famous painters can be admired here. Since the National Park Hoge Veluwe was originally a private estate of Kröller-Müller, her former hunting residence can also be found here. As this building has an unique design, it is worthwhile to take a closer look at it.
We stayed until 8 PM, after which we went “local” and travelled back to the surrounded village of Hoenderloo for a nice dinner in a local restaurant named Het Deelerhof in Hoenderloo. I could really experience the hospitality of the “Veluwenaren” (inhabitants of the Veluwe region) and enjoy the dishes that were prepared according to the regional cooking method. Sitting on the terrace and indulging in the great food formed a lovely way to reminisce about the whole day of adventures. I intentionally wanted to close the day with an ice cream from what has been called the most delicious soft ice cream parlour in the area, “IJs van Co”, but unfortunately it was closed at the evenings. This is absolutely a valid reason to come back here in the Veluwe soon hehe.
Have you been to the Veluwe before? What were your experiences of being tourist in your own country? I’d love to hear from you.
Until next time.