Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A Day in the Park

80° Sun

By Claire
We rode off on our bikes with confidence after consulting with Felix and being given a map to borrow from the campground's huge binder. We only got lost twice. One of those times turned out to be a detour that took us down a lane with gorgeous homes built right into nature. Everything was very lush and wooded. I’ve never seen architecture quite like it and the homes fit in so well you barely saw them.

Back on the right track, we biked through De Hoge Veluwe National Park to the Kröller-Müller Museum. It reminded me of Monterey, smelled like a room freshener of my dreams, and was dotted with heather and yellow flowers of some kind. It was quite a ride—26 miles round trip—and it was a very warm day. But the beauty! And the vastness of this 13,000 acre park! At the entrance they have “White Bikes” to use for free (or you can bring your own, as we did).

We started with the 60 acre sculpture garden through lush landscapes. Very fun and entertaining. The best was “Earthly Whispers” with soothing sounds that wafted through the landscape. We weren't sure where it was coming from but it sure captured our attention.


Judith and Holofernes


Dark Man


We sat on a bench in the shade eating our lunch of hard boiled egg, bread, apple and some Dutch cookies, enjoying the peace and quiet…until we heard someone on a cell phone walking along the path towards us. I knew instantly that the guy was an American. REI type long sleeve hiking shirt with vents and zip off pants. His loud voice completed the picture. I really couldn’t believe it. Everyone around the area was quiet and respectful of the art. I didn’t see any other cell phones among the many people strolling through the garden. Even the teenagers on a school field trip were attentive and interested. I think he was just checking this place off his list. Oh well.

Inside the museum, we saw the second largest collection of Van Gogh in the world. We loved it. There were plenty of other wonderful artists to enjoy as well, including Picasso and Renoir. The center of the museum was a beautiful pond and garden with windows facing overlooking this serene spot. I was really impressed with how well they incorporated art into nature.

The ride home was a little tough, for me at least. My bottom hasn’t been broken in to the new bike seat yet. The first picture, below, is of me on a bike path in the park; it is not a road! However, the entire experience was really beautiful and we made it back just fine, grabbing a coke and an ice tea from the camping store as soon as we got back. We also grabbed a couple of beers for later. While we sat there with our drinks, the postman pulled up on his bike, of course.

We will miss this campground but we're looking forward to our next stop, Bruges, Belgium. Bathrooms become very important when you're camping and so far, they've been clean and fully equipped. This one even had one sink decorated for a princess. I'm pretty sure our granddaughter, Sarah, would really enjoy this place.

We spent the rest of the afternoon lounging in the shade reading our Kindles and enjoying the peace and quiet of this beautiful place.


Camping, €17.50
Internet, €5.83
Park and Museum entry €28
Map, €3
Drinks, €4.60
Ice cream bar, €.60

Total: €59.53

Running Total: €26,377.73

On the road of life, it’s not where you go, but who’s by your side that makes the difference. Quote from an anniversary card from Chuck


Pat in Santa Cruz said...

Sounds like another wonderful day. 26 miles is a pretty serious way to break in a new bike! :-) Hope you have a safe journey to Bruges. I'll be most interested in your impressions and photos. I'm sure you'll find lots of new places that I haven't seen.

Chuck and Claire said...

Thanks Pat. We're really looking forward to seeing Bruges after hearing about your trip.

Kelly in West Sac said...

Your blog is poetry; it's so easy to take a vicarious walk in your shoes. It's not just the descriptions of the places, but the descriptions of your reactions to the places (and, in Chuck's case, the gadgets).

Keep it up!

Chuck and Claire said...

Thanks Kelly! We're all agog at all the differences in the things we see and experience. It's what makes it so interesting and fun.

Arianna said...

I visited that park way back in '93 and loved it! So gorgeous! I loved Bruges too - beautiful lace and great chocolate and beer :-) We are loving reading your posts, so please keep it up! Buon viaggio!

Chuck and Claire said...

Thanks Arianna. We're anxious to see Bruges but sad to be leaving this area. It's so peaceful and quiet. Give Calia and Taia a hug from us.
Claire and Chuck

Tai said...

My only knowledge of Bruges is from the movie In Bruges which, as you probably know, was filled with sarcastic references to how miserable it is there. It looked beautiful, however, and I look forward to your visit and a new perspective.

P. S. Letha got your card ON her birthday and was so pleased and impressed. We had a nice and funny chat about the 'lump under the shoe' episode at her birthday lunch with Wendy, et al.

Chuck and Claire said...

Yes, and tho Chuck loved that movie, I hated it. Glad Letha got the card on the right day.

Carina in Davis said...

What a pleasure it is to read your blog and see the beautiful photos. I wanted to try the chocolates in that box - even the one in the shape of a dog's head looked delicious!

Chuck and Claire said...

And the dog's head wasn't even our favorite.