The first park we visited is northwest of Arnhem and called the Hoge Veluwe. It's 55 square kilometres of rolling forests, sand dunes and bike paths. It got its start as a private estate primarily for hunting, owned by two very rich people, Anton Kröller and his wife, Helene Kröller-Müller. She was an art collector with virtually unlimited funds. She liked painters like Mondrian, Seurat, Monet, Pissaro, Picasso, and sculpturists like Moore, Rodin & others. In the early 1930's, they donated their land and art to the Government under the condition that it stayed a park and they built a museum for the art. So it's a privately owned national park (take that, Banff).
We, as usual, took public transit to get there: a train to Arnhem, and a bus from there to Otterlo in the northwest corner of the park. Walking to the park from the bus stop, we happened upon this memorial.
|Small but pretty|
|I recognize that|
|History I never knew|
|Pick a bike, any bike. And every one has a child seat|
|Sculptures on the entrance path|
|The first ever series of Mondrian's graphic style he would become famous for|
|More typical Picasso|
|VG Self Portrait|
|Classic mid-madness Van Gogh|
|The star's location in the skies is accurate|
|Pre-madness. Very delicately done|
|This amphitheatre is a piece of art|
|Looking up inside the tower|
|Wall of twisted steel|
|You used to be able to clamber on this thing, but...|
|...it's falling apart so under repair|
|Yes, that's a house trailer that's... "decorated"|
|Heads with... things on them|
|On the hill|
|The view from the hill. Two bikes on the left for scale|
We stopped at another blind, where I wandered around unsuccessfully trying to track a bird making an interesting noise.
|Grasses and oak trees|
|Pine trees; the sheep like this area, based on tracks and scat|
|Me, not finding birds|
But the bus never came.
There's an app here everyone uses called 9292 that basically tells you how to get from any Point A in the country to any Point B using all forms of transit (train, tram, bus, etc), in English or Dutch. I planned our outbound and return journeys on it yesterday. I pulled it up. Suddenly, it was saying to me the bus we wanted to take was "unavailable", but offered me no alternatives. It wouldn't even tell me where to walk to get to another bus (it normally does that). It was saying something in Dutch that it didn't translate and I didn't understand nor could figure out. We were still 6 km -- a 2 hr walk -- from the Arnhem train station. Now what?
Up walks this lovely young Dutch lady. We ask her to translate the 9292 message. It says: that particular bus line is on strike today. There will be no bus in 30 minutes, or at all. She isn't really a local -- she's in this particular town (Schaarsbergen) doing business, and now heading home to Rotterdam -- but she knows there is no other bus option. We are officially stranded.
We sorta slide into panic mode (how the heck do we get to Arnhem? There sure are no taxis out here), when she offers us a ride to the station. We gratefully accept. Along the way, we find Marion is eager to practice her English (which is better than mine), and really wants to visit Canada. And it just so happens we speak English and live in Canada. It only takes about 8 minutes to get to the station, but we make sure to give her our contact info, and invite her to come visit us in our version of paradise in the mountains.
Karen and I hope she takes us up on it, in part because Marion is as much a Dutch treasure as the park and museum.