Biking through Hoge Veluwe National Park

Trip Start Aug 18, 2011
1
7
45
Trip End Jul 02, 2012


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Flag of Netherlands  , Gelderland,
Saturday, September 24, 2011

Yesterday (Saturday, 9-24), I took a trip with ISN (the International Student Network) southeast to De Hoge Veluwe National Park and the Kröller-Müller Museum. I met a lot of really nice people and had a really great time.

We departed Amsterdam in the morning by bus and got to the park after an hour and half. We then took a bike trip through the park. The park was beautiful! The scenery would change from deciduous trees to pine forest, then to grasslands, heathlands and even sand dunes. It was really neat to see so many types of habitats in such a small area. The whole park was very pretty, but I think my favorite part was the sand dunes. The park also had some hills, which were the first I've seen in Holland - everything is usually flat here. It was odd to see sand dunes so far inland. The park was apparently carved by a glacier during the last Ice Age.

After our first bike ride, we took a quick tour of the Kröller-Müller Museum, which has the second-largest Van Gogh collection in the world. We got to see some really neat sculptures in the Sculpture Garden, including one by Rodin and another called Jardin d'émail that was my favorite of the sculptures.

Inside the museum, we got to see some Pointillist paintings, which I liked a lot. I had never seen Pointillism in person before. We also got to see works by Picasso, Monet, Pissarro, Renoir, Gaugin, and of course Van Gogh. The Van Gogh collection was really nice. They had one of his famous paintings, Café Terrace at Night, which I was surprised to see. I was very impressed by the museum. I didn't know anything about their collection before I went, so I was very shocked that they had works by so many famous artists.

After perusing the art, we set off on another bike ride through the park. The ride was uphill for a while, and we were running a bit late for the bus, so we had to bike quite fast. I was pretty exhausted by the time we reached the bus.

Once we got back to Amsterdam, the a group of six of us went to an Irish Pub close to the Palace for a beer and some food. I had a really good time at the pub talking to all of them. Collectively, we were from Belgium, France, Germany, and the US. I got to hear some of their opinions on the situation with Germany and the Greek bailout. I was very shocked to find out from the German's that they don't have a minimum wage. I've been watching the situation here with the debt crisis quite closely, and from what I've taken in, it seems that many Europeans seem to be very unsure or divided about what to do. It's very strange, because the Netherlands has a fairly strong economy, so I sometime forget there is a crisis afoot, because it's not that viable on the streets. It's a very serious problem, and it's quite scary to think of what the world might look like if the worst would happen and a large country like Italy or Spain were brought to a default, because of panic about Greece. I think the situation would rival that of the Great Depression if such a thing were to happen. Let's hope it doesn't!

Anyways, I had a great day yesterday at the park, museum, and pub and hope to be traveling some more on the weekends. I was happy to see online that so many people at WVU had a good time at ESPN College Gameday for the WVU-LSU game. I'm a little jealous that I couldn't go.
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Comments

Jane Staplin on

Hi Kurt,

You sure have put some miles on since your arrival. Uncle Dave has been to Utrecht and agrees it is great. Hope you didn't get sunburned at the beach.
Have a great time visiting Berlin. Also glad you got your classes worked out.
Hopefully ING has worked things out also.
Love, Aunt Jane

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