Even though the weather forecast was not so good, we decided to go for a medium length hiking tour, from Dieren to Velp (near Arnhem), to enjoy the special wet atmosphere in the Dutch woods. It's a hiking tour issued by the Dutch Railway Company NS. See NS hiking routes in Gelderland for details about this 15 km long tour.
In Dieren, we left the station through the tunnel at the back side. After a short part through the outskirts of Dieren, the real work started. The first part is just woods, climbing al little bit to the top of the "Carolina berg". The word "berg" is Dutch for "mountain". Since we do not have any serious mountains, every hill of about 20m height or more may be called mountain in Dutch.
After the first 5 km we arrived at the Carolina Hoeve, an 18th century farm house, which serves as a restaurant for hikers since the beginning of the last century. A good spot for coffee or to eat a pancake. As you can see at the photo, due to the rain the terrace is empty.
After leaving Carolina Hoeve, the weather gets a bit worse. It starts raining, while the still absent leaves of the trees, do not provide any shelter. We pass through a majestic lawn of huge beech trees, while climbing further up hill slowly.The rain has its own beauty in the raindrops hanging on the thin branches in wood.
This old wood is part of the national park "Veluwezoom". At many spots we see traces of wild pigs. These pigs are considered to be a plague by the locals, because they enter the villages and destroy all accessible parts of the gardens. It seems hard to apply the simple solution to this problem: a fence will do.
Moving on, after a total distance of about 9 km suddenly the landscape changes. We arrive at the highest point of the route (90 m above sea level), the well known Posbank. As I just learned during the tour, Posbank means bench of mr Pos. Mr Pos is one of the first managers of the Dutch tourist association ANBW. To his honour at the top of the hill a bench has been erected, giving a splendid view over all the valleys and the moor below. Today, the bench is cold and windy. After a quick lunch we descend into the valleys.
It's a remarkable area, one of the few possibilities for the Dutch to walk at a place that's not flat. That's why this area is very popular and not recommended at all on sunny warm weekend days. The moors and valleys are small and soon we come near the outskirts of Velp, where the natural surroundings change into a more park like environment. Shortly after we enter Velp, we miss a sign of the excellent route marking. I think just a little distance from the railway station we see a bus stop and decide to go by bus to Arnhem railway station where the trip ends.
Even though it's raining most of the time, we enjoyed this route as do many Dutch.