Having spent the morning in Maastricht, by the time I got near Hoge Veluwe National Park, the final stop on my solo adventures in Holland, I only had a few hours of the afternoon left. I wanted to have a full day to enjoy Hoge Veluwe, so I checked into a hostel in Arnhem for the night and spent the afternoon at the nearby Oosterbeek Airborne Museum.
The Airborne Museum tells the story of the Operation Market Garden; it was a plan to advance the Allied troops and hopefully end the war six months earlier that it did. However, in Arnhem, the operation went horribly wrong, and it caused a large amount of damage and destruction to the area instead of liberating it.
The museum did a good job of explaining this story, but the highlight was the “Airborne Experience” in the basement, where you could walk through a frighteningly realistic simulation of a nighttime battle in Arnhem during the failed operation.
I spent a quiet evening at the hostel, chatting with my roommate (another solo traveler girl, from the Netherlands), and the next morning headed for Hoge Veluwe.
The park was beautiful. The pictures unfortunately don’t show nearly the beauty of the place, but the park land varies from wooded areas to vast, barren landscapes. The more barren-looking areas were my favourite; dried grass and twisted trees, and quiet, stretched in every direction. There was also a monument to a hero from the Boer War in this area; it was placed there because the hero, before his death, commented that the area reminded him of Africa.
I visited the Kroller-Muller museum, where I immensely enjoyed the collection of works by Van Gogh, and then the visitor’s centre, which was actually really cool and did a great job of explaining the nature aspects of the park in creative ways. I also went to look at the Jachthuis Sint Hubertus, once the home of the Kroller-Mullers, which is in a beautiful setting with the woods behind it and a pond and lawns in front.
The Jachthuis Sint Hubertus.
View from the side of the Jachthuis Sint Hubertus.
I spent the majority of the day just biking around on the park’s free white bicycles, which were available in abundance at every park gate and attraction.
Just biking around, trying to take in all the beauty of the place, was immensely enjoyable, and felt like a great way of unwinding after the busy week of travelling and sightseeing I’d had.
At the end of the day, I boarded a train and headed back to my relatives. Hoge Veluwe was the end, albeit a very good end, of my solo adventures in Holland.