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First Trip to Europe Part 5- Arnhem, Netherlands

We arrived at the Schipol Station on time and then took a local train to Arnhem in eastern Netherlands, where we stayed for two nights. When we got to Arnhem we rented a car and drove to our Airnb rental which was a cottage in Margriet’s back yard. This cottage was comfortable, spacious, bright and had a full kitchen. Margriet and her family bent over backwards to help us. (On our final day she actually drove ahead of us in her car to lead us the "shorter" way to the Open Air Museum as we didn't have GPS here.) That evening we went to a pancake house to eat Dutch pancakes both savory and sweet, played cards on our patio and watched the Euros on our TV.
We went to Arnhem for one major reason. As I mentioned before, my one children (8 years old) is slightly obsessed with Van Gogh. After doing a lot of research we thought that seeing the Van Goghs at the Kroller-Muller Museum would be a much better experience for our family than the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. Also, we joke that our older child is “allergic” to art museums. They really aren’t his thing. However, he loves natural history and the Kroller-Muller is located in the Hoge Velluwe National Park. We could walk to the southern entrance of the park from Margriet’s home and then ride the free white bikes all throughout the park. We spent all day here. We started at the park’s visitor’s center that had a natural history museum that we all thoroughly enjoyed. We then went to the Kroller Muller Museum which was spectacular. Not just because of the VanGoghs, but also because of the Picassos, Redons and the largest sculpture garden in Europe. (I think that is true, even if it is not, it is so lovely to walk around.) We ate lunch at the café at the museum, which was surprisingly good- their desserts are excellent and then walked around the aforementioned sculpture garden. That afternoon we rode the free white bikes all around the park through forests, fields and sand dunes. As a family experience you really couldn’t beat it. We experienced, learned and enjoyed so much in one relatively small place. Even though we did a lot we never felt rushed.

The next day we went to Arnhem’s Open Air Museum which RS suggests as one of the best in the Netherlands. We had on and off downpours (even some thunder and lightning) all morning, but we had brought along our LLBean raincoats we still had a great time eating poffertjes, riding old fashioned large wheel bikes, seeing how laundry used to be done and climbing a windmill. After lunch we drove into Arnhem, dropped off our rental and took the local trains to Haarlem where we stayed for our final two nights in Europe.

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