Leaving the bus station behind, we’ve started our wandering in a fancy neighborhood from Heemstede. Even traveling by car in the city, you will not miss the chance of wondering how come these houses can exist, so big and chic, with large and beautiful gardens. From spot to spot, cane roofs are pushing towards the sky, bringing back memories from Romania, where this kind of roofing was used in old times, being traditional in some parts of the country.

The trail starts with the Groenendaalse mill, half white, half green, having traces of a forgotten history. Entering the pedestrian route, children full of joy captured us and an hysteric lamb, which was screaming if nobody was petting him. At the entrance of the park a small area is arranged for children to come and pet animals, but not any kind: pigs, sheep, goats and rabbits. There’s also a part with birds, but unfortunately they are in cages, which I find to be hurting, especially on the small ones, which would like to fly free in the forest next to them.

Groenendaalse (Green valley, I guess) Forest houses deer and highland cattle – this being the reason we chose this one on our Friday escape. We got lost a little bit and due to this we didn’t manage to meet with them, but now we are better prepared for our next visit. The forest has mainly 2 routes: red and yellow and we’ve chosen the red one, since no dogs are allowed in that part. Unfortunately, at one point instead of taking right we took left and ended in a small town, but thanks God for GPS! The trail is going through green passages and it’s a pleasure to be on it in this period: wild flowers at each corner, birds singing all day long, butterflies – you just feel that the nature took out all of the greatest feelings in the world only for you. For myself, being there is so relaxing and huge joy is invading my body when I hear the birds or see the bumble-bee flying above the yellow, white or purple flowers.

We left the park with peace in our minds, planing already our return. The forest is just 20 minutes away from home with the bus and 1 km walking, but maybe, one day, I will manage to ride a bicycle there.

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Groenendaalse Bos