Tonight was the first night of the season that it froze in the Netherlands. That can only be the sign of one thing: winter is coming. But luckily for us, it is not here yet. We first get to enjoy one of the prettiest seasons: autumn! It’s hard not to love autumn, the season in which you can finally wear all of your fluffy sweaters again, bake cookies and pies, sit beside the fireplace and enjoy long walks through the forest, walking through piles of beautifully coloured leaves.
Is there a forest in Utrecht?
Yes there is! Go to Rhijnauwen, which is on the three estates, together with Amelisweerd and Oud-Amelisweerd, that make up the closest forest near Utrecht. The estates date back to the 13th century and also still have some lovely manors and other buildings, of which some you can actually enter. However, one of my favourite things to do in the forest is to take a good long walk. There are some routes that you could follow but I usually love to just walk anywhere. The forest is big enough to wander around a bit, but not big enough to get lost in forever, so don’t worry! And for those of you that participated in the forest games, don’t be afraid; at daylight the forest seems to have a way more friendly character.
How ’bout a pancake?
After you have had a stroll around the forest and your feet and hands start to feel like they will never get warm again, go to one of the three little restaurants that the forest offers. My favourite one is called ‘Theehuis Rhijnauwen’ and it is a lovely pancake house! The prices are student-friendly and the view is great. You can sit down, have a cup of hot chocolate with one of their amazing pancakes while enjoy the view over the river ‘Kromme Rijn’.
How do I get there?
So when you have a day off next week and you want to get a bit of fresh air, go into the forest for some peace, quiet and a pancake! You can go the forest by bike, it takes about 20 minutes to ride there from the city center. Or, if the cold scares you, go by bus! Bus 41 goes to the forest every 15 minutes from the Central Station, and you can get off at either stop ‘Oud-Amelisweerd’ or ‘Rhijnauwenselaan’, depending on how soon you want to be in the pancake house, because the latter stop will take you there in only about 15 minutes. Enjoy!