Friday, October 28, 2016

Netherlands: Walk in Baarn Forest (Baarnse Bos) and Tea at Eethuys-Cafe ‘De Generaal’

Autumns are weekends spent walking in the forest for the Dutchman and I. The fall season, however, came a bit later in the Netherlands, which probably had something to do with the extended summer we’ve had. So I am wondering if winter will come a bit later as well? We shall see.

This walk was taken on the first weekend of October. We were running late so I suggested the Baarnse Bos (Baarn Forest) which is a small forest and is actually a combination of forest and park altogether. The manmade touch is evident in every nook and cranny of this jungle park. Dutchman was complaining, saying he prefers to walk in a real forest, but helaas, we were late. Next weekend then.

Art sculptures in the park forest.

In the Grote Kom (this is the bigger pond) you will see statues of women in old costumes.

This is the smaller pond, the Lindekom.

The Baarnse Bos walking trail is approximately 4 kilometres. Of course, you do not have to follow the trail if you only wish to stroll around the park which has 2 ponds, the Grote Kom (bigger pond) and Lindekom (smaller pond).

It’s a great place to chill and perfect for families with children and dogs, as well as for older people who wish to get some fresh air.

A little background: The Baarnse Bos is previously part of the 17th century De Eult Estate owned by the rich with political influence, the De Graeff family. They were the republican rivals of the Dutch Royal (Oranje) family. Unfortunately, the family had financial problems and had to sell the estate as well as the Soestdijk property to the Oranjes. The Eult mansion was brought to the ground and this is what we now see remaining of the estate, the park forest. Soestdijk later became Palace Soestdijk, the royal residence of the Dutch Royal family under Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard. They lived here until their respective deaths in 2004. The palace is currently being auctioned by the Dutch government who now owns the estate, with conditions of course, and will go to the highest bidder with a sound plan.

Beside the Baarnse Bos is the famous Eethuys-Café ‘De Generaal’, an iconic café restaurant in Baarn that also has its own fair share of history with the village, as well as with the Dutch Royal family. This café used to be a railway station designed in Jugendstil (aka Art Nouveau) with a luxurious cafe restaurant and exclusive waiting rooms for the royal family. The café remained but the railway history, helaas has moved on.

The location is really perfect for people who come with the car or train. There is enough car parking beside the café restaurant and the vintage yet beautiful and well maintained Baarn railway station is just across.

Dutchman and I have been here before many years ago after having a walk in nearby Hoge Vuursche which we found out were not really a good of a place to walk around. There were no real walking trails. You are better off at Lage Vuursche, or here at Baarnse Bos if you prefer just a short walk.

The Eethuys-cafe "De Generaal" used to be a railway station with waiting rooms in Baarn.

It is a small park forest with a 4-kilometre walking trail.

As Dutchman and I were walking we suddenly heard sounds of something falling to the ground, well actually falling on our foreheads as well, and we realised they were nuts. I guess that is why it is called the fall season. Not only leaves fall but also nuts =)

The Lindekom (smaller pond).

Some of the trails here are so man-made such as this tree-lined pathway.

You can tell the age of a tree by its number of rings. Can you tell?

Some of the fallen trees were just left as is in the forest, while others were piled ready to be brought to a different location.

Dogs run freely here. I would love to have a cat or a dog but I am afraid of skin allergies, as well as I do not think I am ready to invest a lot of time, effort and money for a pet. I mean, I do not even have kids. Well, I am strongly considering a cat though as they are less maintenance. 

Information about the statue costumes in the Baarnse Bos park. This is the Grote Kom pond (the bigger pond).

Reflections on the water.

Instead of the usual tart for tea, we settled for some warm Bitterballen with mustard.

The interior in Jugend (art nouveau) style of the cafe restaurant is well preserved and maintained.

Travel Period: October 2016
Destination: Baarn (Utrecht), the Netherlands

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Happy Travels! Enjoy Life =)

All pictures were taken by a point and shoot pocket camera or iPhone.

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