City Parks: An Oasis of Calm in the CityHeather Tucker, Monday, September 16, 2013
I love the city. There is something about the hustle and bustle that I find inspiring. But even I can appreciate that every once in awhile there is a need for a little bit of peace and quiet. Luckily, the cities of the Netherlands have kept this in mind. Amsterdam has Vondelpark, Rotterdam has Het Park and I headed off to Zuiderpark in The Hague to see just how well it could do at recharging my batteries.
Since 1936, Zuiderpark has been a place of recreation and relaxation for the inhabitants and it didn’t take long to find out why. This large park features a mixture of tree lined walks, large grassy fields, playgrounds, a rose garden, a deer enclosure and even a swimming pool. The park is also a clear favourite with cyclists, runners, and skaters. And with barbeque facilities and Parkpop in the summer, Zuiderpark is no doubt the place to be especially when the sun is shining.
It was slightly cloudy when I arrived but there were still plenty of people taking advantage of the last of the summer weather. What I enjoyed most about the park was how you could walk for quite some time before coming across something that you had already seen. It was also interesting to see how the park changed from section to section.
At one point we were walking past a small canal with a bridge and the next we were standing and observing some deer. After sneaking past a huge gang of ducks, we were able to push open the gate onto a quiet and beautiful enclosure filled with roses. As children’s’ laughter floated on the breeze from one of the playgrounds, we watched two kids attempting to fly their kites on the grassy field – one with more success than the other.
After a couple of hours of walking around Zuiderpark I was ready to head home but in a much more relaxed state than I arrived. The visit was a good reminder that no matter how crazy and chaotic it can be in the city, there is always an oasis of calm nearby in the form of a city park.