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A Short Getaway with Friends. The Veluwe.

by Véronique

Nicholas Pope - Mary's font

8 April 2014 • It had been a long time the 3 ladies went together on a trip. So plans were made and off we went. Like our first trip we travelled once again to the Netherlands, this time to the beautiful national park Hoge Veluwe. It is situated in the province of Gelderland, the largest province of the Netherlands. It stretches 60 km from north to south and it is the perfect place if you want to get away from the city and want to fully enjoy nature. Anton (a shipping and mining tycoon)  and Helene Kröller Müller purchased the grounds in phases in the early 20th Century. Anton loved hunting and Helene was passionate about art collecting. Their dream was to unite nature and art for the interest in the common good. We can only be happy that the passion of this couple lead to such a beautiful place.

But nature is not all that this amazing place has to offer, the well-known Kröller-Müller Museum is also situated in the park. The museum hosts an impressive collection of world famous art pieces including a large collection of work by Vincent van Gogh. Next to that is a beautiful sculpture garden with small and big art pieces. The museum is named after Helene Kröller-Müller. She was one of the first to see the talent of Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh. She saw her dream to open a museum-home come true in 1938. The beautiful history of this couple is explained on the walls of the museum. 

The Kröller-Müller MuseumPalissade - Evert StrobosJardin d'Email - Jean Dubuffet. It was closed that day unfortunately.

It is now one of my favourite museums. It never felt too crowded as the spaces are big enough and the contact with nature is present in many of the rooms. There are all sort of great artists to admire in this museum. I particularly loved the works of Isaac Isreals.

Construction with half circles - ConstantTrevi Fontein - Isaac Isreals

We stayed in the Westcord Hotel De Veluwe, which is a convenient modern hotel that offers everything you need. There is even a spa to relax after a full day of hiking or cycling.

After a good night’s sleep we were all ready to go and to explore the park. On several locations there are white bikes at your disposal. I love the fact that they also offer special bicycles as for example for disabled visitors. They are totally free and bring you wherever you want to go. It felt great cycling through the silence of this vast piece of beautiful nature. We did not see any deer or other animals in the park although there is a big game population in the park. 

The Entrance

There are several restaurants in the park with different interiors and atmospheres. You have the minimalistic Monsieur Jacques counter café-restaurant in the Kröller-Müller museum and the cosy buffet restaurant de Koperen Kop. Both also cater for vegetarians if you were wondering. The specialty in the Koperen Kop are the pancakes. And for a short stop there is the Tea House near het Jachthuis, which you can also visit with a guide if wanted. There are benches looking over the beautiful pound, where you can watch the ducks doing their water ballet. Highly recommended. 

Het Jachthuis in the distance

In the Visitor Centre you can visit the Museonder Museum for free (it is included in the park ticket price). Here you can discover what lives and used to live below the earth’s surface.

After a lazy morning with a nice breakfast in the hotel, we decided to go for one short walk before getting back in the car for the ride back. The hotel has different walking routes at disposal, which makes it easy if you come unprepared. We decided on the 7K walk in Garderen that lead us through the pretty countryside. But when the weather offered us all its wide range of options including hail we decided to take a short cut to the town. Once back we were very happy to eat lunch and get warm again in a local pub. 

Making new friends while hiding for the rain

After a random short stop in surprising Nieuwegein with its futuristic city centre and a healthy stop at the roadside restaurant La Place (we so need more of those in Belgium) we were soon back in our own country. Relaxed. Happy. Looking forward to another girls trip.