The Veluwe

Pieter’s dad has a small second home in the East of the country, which is much closer to his work than the family home. It also happens to be in one of the most beautiful nature areas the Netherlands have to offer: the Veluwe (vay-lew-uh). It’s a fairly hot vacation destination for the Dutch, with camp grounds and clusters of vacation homes strewn about. It’s also one of the higher points in Holland – roughly 20m higher than its surroundings, due to the collision of some glaciers in the Ice Age. The ground is almost entirely made up of sand, and apparently rocks have been found buried deep down thought to have travelled all the way down from Scandinavia thousands of years ago.

P1000419

Pieter’s dad’s place is a quiet little paradise, out of sight of any neighbours, where you can lazily sip your coffee amidst the birds and the frogs and – if you’re feeling athletic – bike through the neighbouring village of Bennekom.

P1000392

P1000433

P1000420

P1000432

P1000396

P1000387

On Saturday morning, we grabbed some old bikes from the shed and set off to do groceries for the weekend. I felt particularly European biking back with a basil plant and a fresh loaf of bread!

P1000404

We spent the rest of the morning sitting perfectly still by the pond, hoping to catch a glimpse of its resident frogs.
Our patience was well rewarded.

P1000458

P1000459

In the afternoon, we hopped in the car in the direction of Arnhem – we were going to the Open Air Museum there. It’s a huge outdoor area where they bring old, historical buildings from throughout Dutch history.
We were slightly delayed due to a particularly long tractor parade!

P1000497

We spent the sunny afternoon discovering old weaver’s houses and launderettes and windmills and all things historic and Dutch.

P1000499

P1000516

P1000504

We even had a very traditional treat … Poffertjes (pof-er-tch-uhs) – teeny tiny pancakes that are puffed up and served with butter and powdered sugar.

P1000506

P1000514

P1000510

They’re so small and buttery that they melt in your mouth. No further endorsement is required, I think!

That evening, we rewarded ourselves for our cultural exploits with a nice dinner, some bubbly, and a great movie (Ghandi – really long but really really good).

P1000550

The next day we set off on a mighty hike through the woods. (Mind that ‘hiking’ in Holland mostly entails flat surfaces … Perfect for those who are not so athletically inclined, such as myself!)

P1000570

Also, when you go hiking in the Netherlands you’re never too far away from a farm. It’s a rather civilized activity, with a lot of concrete paths you can take – very Dutch, really.

P1000577

P1000588

We did get further into the wilderness, though, and I fell in love with this little cabin …

P1000594

P1000582

Like so many parts of the Netherlands, the Veluwe is not something you’re likely to hear about when people recount their travels, but it’s gorgeous and definitely worth a visit. Just the place to spend a few days recharging your batteries!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s