As I have been living in the Netherlands, also known as Holland, my whole life I am quite used to the rain all year long, windy autumns and cold winters. But this year we were lucky, autumn was awesome as ever! The weather has been soft and warm until the beginning of November and the winds and rain began later, so it was mostly sunny and very colorful in my country the past few months.
This is why I seem to appreciate autumn even more now and the colors of the foliage just captivated me this year. The streets were green, red and golden all together and I just couldn’t stop taking pictures of it.
I recently took up photography again and took so many wonderful autumn pictures from my country lately, that I just couldn’t resist sharing with you.
There is something about this season, the falling of the leaves, shedding of the trees, golden glows, colorful reflections on the waterside and the smell of trees, earth and mushrooms.
Something like new beginnings, letting go of the old and nature in its purest form.
Being a real nature lover I feel so happy being outdoors. When the weather is nice I prefer to walk around the forest, beaches and sand dunes or botanical gardens and city parks. These surroundings just make me feel grounded, free and I love the sights and smells all around.
I see beauty in almost everything and the colors of fall make me go camera crazy!
I have been living in the Netherlands for 35 years now and l know my way around, especially in Amsterdam where I work and the Hague where I live. The following pics were taken around the canals of Amsterdam, beautiful city parks, forests, sand dunes and nature estates of the Hague and a few other special spots in my country.
Did you know that Amsterdam has more than 200 canals and 1,500 bridges? Those are more canals than Venice and more bridges than Paris. It is not a coincidence that Unesco listed the canal district of Amsterdam to its World Heritage Site list. The canals and especially the Jordaan, where I work in the 9 streets area, are so beautiful and special.
Especially in autumn when they become all red and golden, which is a wonderful sight!
For more sightseeing tips in the nicest neigborhoods of Amsterdam also check out my earlier blog post: Amsterdam sightseeing & shopping hotspots.
The city centre of the Hague concentrates mainly around the central train station, het Plein with lots of restaurants, bars and historical buildings around its square, and the nearby Binnenhof and Hofvijver, where the parliament is located.
Even though it is the biggest city of the Netherlands next to Amsterdam and Rotterdam, it is much greener than any other cities of my country. Mostly because of the many nobility estates with big parks around it and use of green zones throughout the city.
One of my favourite city parks, especially in spring time and autumn, is called Clingendael, a beautiful estate with big park grounds and several different gardens, just outside the Hague. The royal gardens and parkland are now owned by the state and therefore open to the public.
One of the very special gardens in this park are the Japanese Gardens with winding pathways and beautiful original Japanese features, which is listed as a national historical monument. The city takes great care of the Japanese Garden because of its uniqueness and historical value. To protect the gardens it can only be visited 2 times a year in spring and autumn for only a few weeks.
I love strolls through the forest, especially while enjoying the many colors and smells of fall. Even though the Hague is a big city it also has some forests, next to its city parks. Het Haagse Bos is a beautiful city forest nearby the city centre. Historically this was a popular hunting area of the Dutch counts and it is one of the oldest remaining forests of the Netherlands.
A special feature of this big forest is that it also houses the royal Dutch family in Huis ten Bosch. One of the 3 official residences of the Dutch royals. It has been home to the former Queen for years and will soon be occupied by the new King after a big renovation.
We also love to go to the Hortus Botanicus in a nearby city of the Hague called Leiden. These nature grounds are an oasis inside the historical city and has many interesting plants, trees and greenhouses. It is the oldest botanical garden of the Netherlands, and one of the oldest in the world. It can be found at the edge of the historical centre of the city, between the Academy building and the old Observatory building of Leiden.
The Hague is the largest Dutch city on the North Sea and has 2 big beach areas. Kijkduin is my favourite as it is much smaller than the popular tourist beach Scheveningen and attracts mainly locals. This means that it has beautiful quiet dune areas around it with a big choice of empty beaches and several beach clubs to enjoy beautiful sunset views at every season of the year.
It may not have mountains and may be quite a flat country, but Holland has a lot of beautiful nature areas as well. You just have to know where to look, point and shoot.
With these pictures I hope to have shown you how beautiful Dutch nature can be and inspire you to visit my beautiful country soon!