A day in the Utrechtse Heuvelrug

JOYFUL GRATITUDE #211

I’ve been craving nature for the past weeks, probably because the weather is starting to warm up and my body is protesting against the sedentary lifestyle of working from home. I’m taking walks every day, alternating between the different parks in Amsterdam, but sometimes making the same routes day in and day out feels like a deja-vu.

So I decided to block my day off on Monday to go for a solo-adventure. I left just after rush hour to avoid crowded trains, arrived in the village of Rhenen and headed off under the perfect blue sky.

Within a few minutes I reached a river. It looked exactly like the one where my sister and I had bathed our feet on a very hot day last summer in Cologne, before being soaked by a huge rainstorm. It turned out that I was standing in front of the Dutch part of the Rhine, so the resemblance made sense. This time I didn’t dip my feet in because I was eager to continue;-)

I passed by the church of Saint Cunera, who I discovered was the patron saint of sore throats. (Good to know there is a specific saint one can turn to for these mundane health issues!)

As soon as I set off, I was brought back to the daily feeling I had when walking on the Camino. The excitement of starting the day with no idea what I would discover, as well as the rush of joy every time I saw an arrow indicating I was on the right track. Like a treasure hunt that goes on all day.

I had brought a tasty lunch, nuts and plenty of fruit with me, and in Rhenen I found a bakery which, next to the pastries with bright orange icing (ready for Kingsday), also had large selection of delicious looking cakes which were the perfect complement to my picnic.

In the national park, many trees were barely starting to bud, as it’s been rather cold for the season. Nevertheless the bright green shoots and fresh leaves were beautiful under the sun. I was accompanied by bird song and here and there a whiff of pine needles. Bright yellow butterflies fluttered along the path, as though they wanted to show me the way. There were not many other people which was a wonderful respite from the city.

All day I wound through the woods, up and down small hills caused by a glacier from the ice age moving the sand around it on its slow progression, along birch forests and open sandy spaces where heather grows… My feet were grateful to cover a long distance and my heart was singing from being surrounded by quiet nature.

*****

For the detailed route from Rhenen to Veenendaal-West: NS wandeling Elstenberg

4 thoughts on “A day in the Utrechtse Heuvelrug

  1. While our woods are a pleasure to visit all year round, the jewel in the crown has got to be spring. Flowers bloom, bringing bursts of colour, and wildlife reawakens, turning the woodland into a hive of activity. Thanks for sharing. I hope all is well. Aiva 🙂 xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Aiva, so lovely to hear from you. I love your description of the woods, that’s exactly it. It’s been a very cold month of April but here’s hoping that the weather will soon warm up for some beautiful walks ❤ Take good care!!

      Liked by 1 person

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