23 October 2011


Posted in Talking about . . .

I love my running route . . .

I’ve been running 3 or 4 times per week. It takes me 30 minutes from home and back again, and I get to run through the lovely park called Haarlemmerhout, commonly known as De Hout. Directly translated, it means Haarlem Wood or Haarlem Forest. Although it rains most days (average number of rainy days in Haarlem in October is 20 . . .), the rain is intermittent and most days the sun comes out at some stage. That’s when I grab my running shoes and head off.

Haarlemmerhout is the oldest public park in the Netherlands and was established in the 1500s. Although the Spaniards razed it during the siege of Haarlem in the late 1500s, it was replanted and remains pretty much as it was then. It is also said that Napoleon’s soldiers carved their initials in the trees at the beginning of the 1800s when they occupied Haarlem, and he lived in the classical palace now used as the provincial chambers of North Holland. A provincial road was built that divides the park into a western side and an eastern side. The western side is fairly natural and untamed, and has lots of paths that I haven’t explored yet. The eastern side (directly in front of the Provincial Chambers) is where most development has taken place. The children’s animal farm (where they can take part in the farming activities) was established there in the 1930s, and a band rotunda built in the 1990s.

I took a series of photographs of the route so you can get an idea of the Haarlemmerhout. The first five pictures are of the eastern park and then the road-crossing and then the next seven pictures take you through the western park and around the animal farm and up to the band rotunda. So – it has some similarities to Hagley Park: It’s an early feature of the city; divided in two by a road; some areas more developed than others; and a band rotunda. I feel right at home!

Eastern Park Eastern Park
Eastern Park Eastern Park
Eastern Park

Eastern Park views

The Crossroads

The Crossroads

Western Park Western Park
Western Park Western Park
Western Park Western Park
Western Park

Western Park views

Of course, it’s going to be interesting to see how I cope when it gets really cold . . . and even snows . . . I’ll keep you posted. If the worst comes to the worst, there is a gym really close to home that Brian has joined and I might have to go there.

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Comments (1)

  • Kate
    27 October 2011 at 12:46 |

    Park looks beautiful - and you sound as though you are getting very fit.

    Hope you are having a wonderful time.

    See you in january 2012.

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