Ranger organized tour around Slot Loevestein, December 28, 2018.

As part of visiting another Castle I joined a Ranger led tour of the ├╝iterwaarden" around Slot Loevestein (ranked #10 on the top 10 list of Dutch Castles).  Getting to the Castle took about an hour, driving through thick fog.  The temperature was just a  hair above freezing, and I realized I definitely did not dress appropriately for the walk: no heavy coat or gloves.  Brrr...

After signing in for the tour,  I took some pictures of the Castle, shrouded in the fog.  I guess that's the proper way to see gloomy castles like this one.  Loevestein has a lot of history.  It was built by Knight Dirc Loef van Horne in 1357 who, because of it's strategic position, was able to charge toll to anyone passing by.  Early during the 80 year war, the Spanish took over the Castle, but through the leadership of Willem van Oranje, the castle was recaptured.  For a long time the Castle was used as a prison, with the most famous prisoner being the writer/jurist Hugo de Groot, who after two years escaped from the Castle by hiding in a large bookcase!  Between 1925 and 1986 the Castle was completely restored and is now being used as a museum.

There was a lot of interest in the guided walk by the Rangers.  There were at least 100 people, ranging from very young children to seniors.  For this reason we were split into two groups.  The ranger made frequent stops, talking about the history of the area, and pointing out plant and animal life.  The area is known for two free roaming large animals: the Konikpaard" (Polish horse), and the Rode Geus, a red cow, used as a free roaming grazer.  Seeing both animals was the highlight of the day!

Back at the Castle, I got some hot chocolate and a large Castle cookie, which warmed me up nicely!