Hallerbos: Belgium’s Forest of Bluebells

Breigh April 25, 2011 15
Hallerbos: Belgium’s Forest of Bluebells

Hallerbos

A few months ago a friend of mine told me about a spot in Belgium that she thought I’d like, called Hallerbos.  It’s a forest just outside Belgium that, for a few weeks every spring, is completely covered in bluebells.  She showed me her photos and I immediately wanted to go, so I put regular reminders in my calendar for me to look into whether the bluebells had started to bloom or not.  I figured at least some of the people who visited would put their photos on Flickr, and I did a search for recent photos under the label ‘Hallerbos’ every couple of days.  It was a great plan because I was able to see how the flowers were blooming through other people’s photos.

When they appeared to be ready, we made a plan!  Xander, myself and the dogs all got in the car last Sunday morning and set off for Belgium.

baileyprius

We decided to put the dogs in the back of  the Prius rather than on the back seat like we used to with the old car,  which turned out to be a great decision. They settled down a lot quicker and Bailey loved the dog height window across the back.  Pixel just curled up and went to sleep and we didn’t hear a peep from her until we arrived.

Hallerbos

Hallerbos was beautiful!  We did a walk that was 7.5km that took us through all the most beautiful parts of the forest.  It took us three hours because I kept stopping to take photos but the weather was lovely and we had a really wonderful time exploring.

My Little Family

Thankfully there were places like this where Xander could sit and chill while he waited for me to take my photos.

Hallerbos

Hallerbos

Hallerbos

I think we went at the perfect time.  There was purple everywhere we looked and it was just so beautiful.  I got lucky with the light because when we first arrived it was still a bit clouded over and misty, but by the end the sun was blazing.  So I was able to get photos of the flowers in all sorts of different lighting.

Hallerbos

There were quite a few people there but not so much that it felt crowded.  I think later in the season it will be crazy busy but we really felt like it was still a quiet walk through the forest, which made it a lot more enjoyable.

My Babies

The dogs had a blast!  So much undiscovered territory to sniff and pee on.  They were in heaven!  It took me a while to get them to both sit in the same place, I decided to give up on trying to get them both looking at the camera at the same time.

Dig! Dig!

They got to do what they love to do best, DIG!  There isn’t a sand pile around that hasn’t been scratched into submission by these two little dogs.

Pixel also did this crazy thing she does whenever we get her out into nature…

Crazy Dog

She rubbed herself on it…

Crazy Dog

… and rolled around in it.

I don’t know what it is that causes her to do this but whenever we are out she chooses these random spots to rub herself on, then she flips over and wriggles around all over it.  There are a million reasons why I think she’s a total weirdo and this is one of them.  She is the cutest little weirdo I have ever seen though, so I think I’ll keep her.

Thirsty

After all that digging and wriggling, a drink was in order.  I wasn’t sure how healthy it was for them to be drinking out of this stagnant pond but they were already doing it before I noticed so I just hoped that they didn’t keel over dead before we got out of the forest.

Project 365 (Day 106) Tadpoles in Hallerbos

It may have also been a bit of a snack, because that pond was loaded with tadpoles.  Maybe the dogs weren’t actually drinking at all, it’s possible they were just fishing.

Time For Treats!!

We gave them some treats anyway, just because they are so cute.

Hallerbos

Hallerbos

Dandelion

Honestly, I can’t say enough good about this place. No matter how many photos you take, there is no way to capture the beauty of it, you just have to experience for yourself.  From what I’ve read the flowers are in bloom from mid April until sometime in early May so I would say that it’s still possible to visit and see the flowers for at east another week.  I highly recommend it!

Hallerbos HDR

I’m still completely addicted to making HDR photos, so I had to make one from there as well, of course!

For the rest of the photos from my visit, see my Hallerbos set on Flickr!

Hallerbos can be found in Halle, Belgium which is approximately 1h45m from Rotterdam and 2h30m from Amsterdam.  There is parking throughout the park but I’d suggest going early if you want a spot!

15 Comments »

  1. calliope April 25, 2011 at 9:19 am - Reply

    Wow, I’ve lived here (Gent) for 3 and a half years and I’ve never heard of this! I’ll definitely have to try to go next spring.
    You guys had a beuatiful weekend for it, that’s for sure!

    • Breigh April 27, 2011 at 7:16 am - Reply

      I was going to tell you that you should still go but I visited your site and saw that you’re VERY pregnant. So waiting until next year is probably a good idea :)

  2. Monica Van Maanen April 25, 2011 at 3:05 pm - Reply

    Gorgeous! Thanks for sharing.

    • Breigh April 27, 2011 at 7:17 am - Reply

      Thanks Monica :)

  3. lori April 25, 2011 at 4:53 pm - Reply

    These are beautiful. I must go there next year- Amazing place.!

    • Breigh April 27, 2011 at 7:17 am - Reply

      Yeah you should! You would love the walk too, miss walkypants!

  4. tera April 26, 2011 at 10:20 am - Reply

    Every year I say I am going to go, but haven’t yet. Your praises (and pics) make me want to go even more. Hmmm…a little trip in store?

    • Breigh April 27, 2011 at 7:18 am - Reply

      Yeah you should go, it’d be a nice day out for the family!

  5. The Weekend Traveller April 26, 2011 at 2:59 pm - Reply

    Breigh Im scolding myself that I didn’t read this yesterday when you posted it. My husband could have gone there yesterday. Now that Im back to work and school, I can’t just hop on the car and drive there. Im so wanting to go, it’s beautiful there.

    Would you know until when the blue bells will last. I want to take the husband there. He will love it as much as you did, he also likes taking photos.

    Thanks for the tip/

    • Breigh April 27, 2011 at 7:20 am - Reply

      I’d say if you went this weekend it’d probably still be good. It says they bloom from mid April – beginning May. I had a look on Flickr and the most recent photos were taken 3 days ago and it still looked beautiful!

      I wouldn’t put it off any longer than this weekend or next though. I figure after the 7-8th of May they start dwindling.

  6. Zhu April 26, 2011 at 9:45 pm - Reply

    The pictures are amazing! I’m heading to Flickr to see they large. It’s so beautiful!

    • Breigh April 27, 2011 at 7:21 am - Reply

      Thanks Zhu :) It’s one of those places where you can really take about 1000 photos!

  7. Invader_Stu April 27, 2011 at 12:50 pm - Reply

    lol. she rubs herself in nature? I guess if you love nature you love nature.

  8. Gail at Large April 29, 2011 at 8:31 am - Reply

    The place looks unreal, like you dropped into a picture book!

  9. Gaby May 5, 2011 at 11:23 am - Reply

    Beautiful pictures!

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