“The bluebells are blooming in the Hallerbos right now. It might be something you’d like to check out.”, a friend texted me before our long weekend in Belgium. Her husband is Belgian and, lucky for me, she has explored more of the country than I have gotten to. When I clicked over to their website, I knew we couldn’t miss this.
Blooming for only one week at the end of April, the bluebells blanket the forest floor to the most astonishing and surreal effect against the chartreuse green of unfurling spring leaves. The forest literally glows. I couldn’t believe our luck when our visit corresponded to that very week. The day was a drizzly one but not too cold, and I would say we actually were very lucky. This kind of half gray day gave the forest an even stronger luminosity and saturation of color.
The Hallerbos is very easy to access, not far from Brussels, and the Belgians seem to make a tradition out of a visit to the bluebells as all the parking areas were full despite the weather. And right they are as this sight is one that I feel so lucky to be able to say I experienced in my life. “Let’s make this a yearly tradition!”, I said to Romain. I can’t wait to see the magic through Élie’s eyes when he is old enough to really absorb the sight.
I only wish you could smell these pictures because the flowers, which bloom alongside large areas of wild garlic in some places, and the fresh tree leaves give off the most delicate, clean perfume of spring. So you’ll have to imagine that part but what I can give you is a visit to the Hallerbos, no matter where you are. Take your time, stroll along, and soak up the colors.
1500 Halle, Belgium
The bluebells only bloom for a short time at the end of April and the website has a calendar of the blooming season, but this forest has a number of features, that we have yet to explore, that look like they would be beautiful at any time of year.
And a bonus rare sighting: the three of us in one frame!