Saturday was our only full day in Arnhem and we intended to make the most of this lovely, partly-sunny spring day by renting bikes and visiting the Open Air Museum. Our host Yuri called Citybike Experience [Facebook] and learned that there were still bikes available for us so we rented them online and went to pick them up by 11AM (it was a bit of a late start to our day as our bodies adjusted to the new time zone).
Reinout met us at his bike rental shop and was a joy to get to know. He gave us the run down on how to operate the electric bike (quite a good option of biking isn’t something you do much of) as well as how to lock up all 3 bikes (2 were regular Dutch style). We expected to have them back by the evening but as the day would progress we would find ourselves safely storing them overnight for a morning return thanks to Reinout’s gracious flexibility.
The general plan was to bike to the Open Air Museum (Openlucht Museum) and possibly visit one of the nearby national parks if we had the time. On Friday I had jogged around on an orientation tour for about an hour and had thoughts on which was to go. Google maps had downloaded a local map I could operate offline, but it quickly became obvious that I was taking the guys on a very roundabout way to the museum entrance. What should have been a 20 minute ride became an hour or more as we explored a bit more of the area than we had expected.
Our trip to the museum took us over sparsely trafficked roads with ample bike lanes. Throughout the area, bike and foot paths seemed to intersect randomly. It’s obvious that a high priority is given to bikers and walkers and maybe this is part of the reason the Dutch don’t seem to be overweight despite their steady diet of bread, bread and more bread.
The most picturesque area of our day on bikes came after our museum visit as we headed back to our lodging for the night. We passed by Huis Zypendaal (aka Zypendaal Castle), a country estate from the 18th century in which the house is built in the water. Unfortunately it was not open for tours on Saturday, but the gardens around the house that merge into Sonsbeek Park are lovely!