Through “Het groene hart” (Green heart) (1) – Bike ride from The Hague to Amsterdam

By Alwin Hendriks

NETHERLANDS – This is a bike ride with a start and destination (almost exactly) equal to those of bike rides that i used to make a lot when I was about 15 years younger and more then now. The ride goes through the so called “Groene hart”, which means green heart in English. This is a very rural and green area which lies some meters below sea level, located in between the 4 biggest cities of The Netherlands.

This bike ride has some pictures of Den Haag, where I took off. Some pictures of the beautiful old city of Leiden. And some pictures of “Groene hart”, the beautiful green rural area.

Distance: 82km

PUBLISHED: 20th June, 2019
LAST MODIFIED: 20th June, 2019

0. Directions and maps

Den Haag – Leiden – Amsterdam
I use to make this bike ride a lot, especially when I was much younger. So I know pretty well how to make the track nice and various, with as less boring city landscape parts as possible.

Between Leiden and Amsterdam the track goes through the edges of the area called “groene hart”.

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Strava map

1. The take off in The hague / Den Haag

I started my ride in the late afternoon, from home in Den Haag, where I currently live. First of all I drove to a, for me, very special place. I sat down there, and took some pictures. The place is about 2km from my house, from where my bike ride really took off…

Why this place has special memories about it – the green bikers portal in the middle of the city
The first pictures are taken of a place of which I have special memories as a child. There is no exact reason why this place is special, except for my special child memories. Which to me makes the place a forever special place!
…It is one of these typical child memories, which comes in colours, sounds, feelings, etc… And one will never forget.

I will try to explain the special feeling about this place: when I used to drive bike with my father as a child, we use to pass this place on 90% of our bike rides going or more or less going in this direction. My father always use to look for routes that drove us through the city towards home, with almost not having the feeling that one is driving through the city. (In other words, through as many green areas, and green passages as possible).
As you can see on the pictures (left side of pic #002 and right side of pic #004), there is a passage between the church and the villa. This passage is only accessible for bikers and pedestrians, not for cars. And right from this passage, one can drive out of Den Haag completely through green areas, with only more or less 2km driving through city-landscape to reach our home (which lies in the middle of the city).
So I remember this place as a kind of green bikers portal – the portal between city-landscape Den Haag and green-landscape Den haag. A memory that will stay forever, and that remarks the way my father and I use to drive bike..

Berlagekerk / Church of Berlage

This church was built in 1926 by the famous dutch architect (Hendrik Petrus) Berlage. In that building period a lot of famous buildings in Holland were drawn by his hand.

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Den Haag – Berlagekerk / Church of Berlage
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Den Haag – Berlagekerk / Church of Berlage
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Den Haag – Berlagekerk / Church of Berlage
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Den Haag
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Den Haag
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Den Haag
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Den Haag
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Den Haag
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Den Haag

2. The beautiful old city of Leiden

The city of Leiden is located about 20km away from Den Haag, and about 30km away from Amsterdam. Which makes it somehow in between the two of them.

Leiden is an old beautiful city along a branch of the river Rhine. It has the oldest university of The Netherlands. I have always liked Leiden, as it has special atmosphere. It is difficult to describe that atmosphere, but the best description would be that it feels like a small, village-like mix between the atmospheres of Amsterdam and Den Haag. Which is not so coincidental, as it it is literally located in the middle between those two cities.

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Leiden
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Leiden
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Leiden
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Leiden
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Leiden
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Leiden
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Leiden
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Leiden
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Leiden
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Leiden
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Leiden
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Leiden
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Leiden
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Leiden
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Leiden
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Leiden
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Leiden – Oude Rijn (river)

3. The countryside – “het groene hart” / “the green heart” – between Leiden and Amsterdam

This is the part of the trip that goes through the so called “groene hart” or “green heart” of Holland. Despite the nice pictures of Leiden and Den Haag, when I make this bike ride, this are the parts I really use to remember, and that use to remark my bike rides.
It is like driving for hours, and kilometers, through the green landscapes of Holland. Seeing windmills, cows, bridges, lakes and a lot of green grass…

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“Het groene hart”
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“Het groene hart”
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“Het groene hart”
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“Het groene hart”
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“Het groene hart”
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“Het groene hart”

4. Sunset when entering Amsterdam

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Amstelveen
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Amstelveen
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Amstelveen
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Amstelveen
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Amstelveen
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Amsterdam

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This entry was posted in Den Haag (The Hague), Leiden, North Holland, South Holland, The Netherlands

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