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A day in the country

Batya, took a small group of guests for a beautiful excursion to the Royal palace near Apeldoorn and to the beautiful medieval harbor town of Elburg. Guide and guests are all reported to have had a great day out. For those of you considering your options for your planned visit to our country… maybe Batya’s story will whet your appetite:
Leaving Amsterdam we travelled through the typical polders with their cows, sheep, horses and many birds. As we headed eastwards the landscape changed into an afforested area. Beautiful green woods wherever you look. Rows of trees along the side roads give the landscape a feel of welcome.
After an hour’s drive we arrived at the queen’s country palace. Beautiful green boulevards lead to the palace.
The sumptuously furnished interiors give an impression of how the Dutch royal family lived here for three centuries. The reconstructed gardens emanate the ambience of their seventeenth century origin with their fountains and elegantly box-lined parterres. The palace’s setting in one of Holland’s most beautiful nature areas makes a visit a real delight at any time of year.
At first we visited the queen’s stables, completely refurbished, and in the halls beside them were the queen’s many chariots and those of her descendants, all the way to the mid 20th century with special car models.
Het Loo palaceOne of the stable rooms exhibits photos from the life of the present royal family…the war years, the 4 princesses growing up in the Netherlands, the queen’s coming of age, her wedding and coronation and the young generation with the heir to the throne and his family. An interesting exhibit to those interested in royalty.
We took a break at a pleasant café at the entrance to the palace, after which we strolled through the magnificent gardens. The vegetation is arranged in such a way so it appears like a series of carpets.
A garden like this is designed to be viewed as a seasonally changing flower and plant exhibition. Thus, the flowers are planted individually rather than in groups so that each species can be properly seen in all its beauty.
To each side of the palace are William and Mary’s private gardens, aptly named the King’s garden and the Queen’s garden. Mary’s garden has a serious collection of centuries-old citrus trees which are on display in tubs between May and October. Their fruit and their blossoms combined represent a symbol of the House of Orange.
Finally we entered the museum, which is actually the palace as it was when kings, queens and princes lived in it: carpeted walls, ancient furniture, bedrooms of the king and queen, paintings of members of the royal family and finally offices used by the king or queen, including one of the early telephone apparatus.
The interiors are furnished with items of furniture, objects and paintings that generations of royal family members had around them. The authentic fabrics used for the wall coverings and windows are quite exceptional
After enjoying a couple of hours at the palace, we continued to the quaint town of Elburg, approximately a 45 minute drive. The town is unique as it does not resemble other Dutch towns.Elburg
Between 1292 and 1296 Elburg was rebuilt in the form it is seen today, with a moat and a city wall, together with the straight pattern of the street plan. This rapid rebuilding was expensive, indicating that Elburg was reasonably affluent in medieval times.
The closing off of the Zuiderzee in 1932 meant an end to the fishing industry of Elburg, since the former salt water bay gradually became a fresh water body. Therefore, since 1956, the city concluded that only tourism would be the most viable sector for the local economy. Because of its favorable position both on the edge of the canal and near the Veluwemeer, tourists have made it a popular tourist destination. Each year many visit to see the largely unchanged medieval town.
We took a stroll through the main street with its boutiques, open-air cafes and restaurants. At the end of the main street is the old harbor area, a charming place to browse about and enjoy a cappuccino.
We also visited the synagogue which is today the Jewish Museum of Elburg. They offer a small book on the history of the Jewish community in Elburg during the 100 years before WWII, which sadly brought an end to this unique community. The book describes various members of the community and traces the route of the homes where these people lived. The homes are marked with a silver star-of-David in memory of those who perished.
After strolling along the roads for a while, we stopped at a small restaurant and had a delicious fish dinner. Heading back to Amsterdam we enjoyed once again the wonderful landscape of spring in eastern Holland.

See great photos of this day trip on our Flickr page


Beauty and tranquility, with a small group and a great guide!

H. Deutekom
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1-4 persons        € 60.00
5-8 persons        € 80.00

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