Veluwe National Park
De Hoge Veluwe National Park is the largest conservation area in private hands in the Netherlands. The Park covers 5,400 hectares of woodland, heathland, peat bogs and drift sand. It enjoys a wide variety of plants and animals and provides habitats to extremely rare Red List species. Together with the Jachthuis Sint Hubertus, Museonder, Kröller-Müller Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Park forms a unique and internationally renowned combination of nature, art and architecture. Arnhem is a good base for exploring the park. From its rail station, trains go to Amsterdam (1hr., 4 per hr., €14.40). From Arnhem, take bus #105 to Otterloo and transfer to bus #106, a shuttle bus, into De Hoge Veluwe. More travel info here.
Kröller-Müller Museum and Sculpture Garden in the Veluwe
Entrance to the park and museum is 16,40 euros or 8,20 to Museum Card holders. Children under six get in free and older children pay half price. When you arrive choose a free white bicycle from the many that are available. Do be careful though as they have don’t have handbrakes. You have to back pedal to brake. Don’t forget and do a back pedal whizz for the sheer fun of it as you could end up losing your front teeth! I always thought all Dutch people were used to this way of braking until I witnessed my mum-in-law careering down a hill in Arnhem shouting for help as she didn’t know how to stop! Luckily she didn’t hurt herself as the slope evened out and hubby was able to yell instructions how to use the pedal brakes.
Pancake at de Koperen Kop
OK, before you start all that art appreciation malarky, don’t forget to have a pancake at the Koperen Kop, where you can park your bike before eating lunch and head off on foot to the Museum and Sculpture grounds.
A Few of my Favourites
Most people pass this by thinking the ‘Needle Tower’ by American sculptor, Joseph Snelson, is just a tower of wires. Only when you stand directly underneath it do you discover its secret symbolism.
‘Secrets of the Waters’ by Ana Maria Tavares
‘De Echo van de Veluwe’ by Chris Booth
‘Hoofdstukken I-XVIII’ by Jan Fabre
‘Inoppurtune: Stage Two’ by Cai Guo-Quiang This gallery of nine ‘floating’ tigers invoked awed reverence from the visitors. (Animal lovers, don’t worry, tigers are made from papier mache and pelt is 100% synthetic.)
‘with Us in the Nature by Gilbert & George’ – A radical departure from their usually urban-inspired work.
‘The Bridge at Arles’ by Vincent van Gogh
Time to go home…