A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
While I’m still busy with my thesis and tied to my desk, for many students the exam and paper period is over and you are hopefully enjoying your summer. For those of you who happen to spend their summer holidays around, and who might have run out of ideas what to do when the beach gets too hot or too cold – why not doing something awesome and adventurous?
My special holiday tip: grab a bunch of friends, through your money together and go out to find the Hidden Garden!
For me personally, already the name sounds so cool that I would jump up and run there, no matter what’s hiding behind the mysterious title. But what’s waiting behind is actually a little dream. At least if you like overgrown gardens filled with apple trees and swings and old sheds and pretty things to look at, and fire places, – and the possibility to learn archery?!
Yes, I said archery! And, be honest, who doesn’t dream of playing Robin Hood or Legolas, or Katniss Everdeen or Merida from Brave, or … ?! Basically all the awesome guys and girls know how to fight with bow arrow. And it looks so cool and easy, doesn’t it?
Unfortunately, it’s much harder than it looks like. We booked a beginner’s training session for about an hour, and I must say, my body was pretty exhausted afterwards.
The trainer, and owner of the “Hidden Garden”, was just wonderful: he tuned in with our group super quickly, explained really well and patiently, and he had some great surprises to keep everyone going and trying, so no one got frustrated when they didn’t hit the target. Beside of learning about archery, and all those muscles in your body you never knew of, it was a great way to learn about yourself and your group: who works better or worse in competition, who tends to overthink?
Afterwards, he made a little fire and coffee with a little amazing wood-powered portable heater. We brought some sandwiches and had a well-deserved break. Even though it was October, it was lovely to just hang out in the gardens.
There are many other activities you can do at the Hidden Garden: Stand up paddling, rowing, canoeing, sheep herding, a bootcamp training, disc golf, and many more. Since this summer, you can even sail a viking ship that the people have built over the winter. How awesome is that!
I can highly recommend checking it out here. Unfortunately, it’s a bit tricky to get to from Leiden, and you’re asked to come by boat or bike… we were lucky and sneaky enough to have a car available when we went. I’m sure if you want to, you’ll find a way. But be warned, it’s not called hidden garden for nothing… plan some time to search for the little wooden door in the middle of a lot of green…