You can get your own logs for a fire and water from the farmer. Life in the lodge on the Lemelerberg is calm, conscious and "off grid". For the renovation of this ninety year old Rabin only what was really needed was adjusted. Where in the Netherlands do you find such a quiet place, where you only hear the whisper of the wind through the treetops? Where you can step into nature from your door step and just come face to face with a herd of grazing sheep?
Text Renate Wilms for Seasons Magazine.
One of those rare places is the Lemelerberg in Vechtdal Overijssel. The Lemelerberg Lodge is a remote wooden chalet on the sixty meter high hill. Thanks to Marianne Maat and Lucienne Dunnewijk this monumental cabin has been transformed to a fine place to stay. In collaboration with Landschap Overijssel, they turned the chalet into a off grid holiday home where you can enjoy silence, space and nature.
Basic and pure life
The Lemelerberg is an official nature reserve. Therefore, there is no sewage or water, electricity or gas connection. "You really live off grid here," Marianne says. “Slow living, that's what the house is designed for. We only adapted what was needed, with materials that are in tune with the chalet. For example, the wood stove on the ground floor was already there. The walls downstairs are authentic, as is the floor. Upstairs we only sanded and varnished it. When creating the bedrooms, flax roof insulation was applied, simply because otherwise it would be too cold. ” The interior is basic, pure, in Shaker style. Such as the comfortable linen-covered sofa, fine rattan armchair and simple wooden chairs around the table. The residents used to use gas lighting, now there is electricity, thanks to solar panels on the roof. There is a toilet, a sink and running water from filtered rainwater. You can take a shower at the nearby nature campsite and you can get extra drinking water - if the jerry cans are empty - at the bottom of the hill.
Chalet in a kit
We thank the Almelose banker Abraham Ledeboer for the chalet. Lucienne: “From 1925 he invested in land here and in 1929 he had a pied-à-terre built there. The chalet ordered in the east of Germany came as a kit over the Overijssels canal to the village of Lemele. For years, the family used the house as a base for picnics in summer and sledging or cross-country skiing in winter. There were still a few antique skis in the attic, as silent witnesses. Now that the bedrooms are ready and the roof is insulated, we have hung them between the beams. W.J.L. it says, the initials of Willemina Joanna Ledeboer, one of Abraham's daughters. ” Another historical detail: numbers are stenciled on some bars: the number sequence of the kit.
It is not difficult to imagine how it was at that time. Now you drive - after opening the barrier giving access to the forest path to the chalet - up the hill. At the time, this was still done with a horse carriage. And the staff traveled forward to get the house ready. The house has a lot of history. According to family chronicles, grandfather Abraham spent some time in hiding in the basement under the chalet during the Second World War. Two decades later, when the textile industry in Twente was lost, the landowners tried to preserve the country estates for later generations. They donated or sold their land to Landschap Overijssel foundation.
Staying in the atmosphere of the pas
Marianne: “Many historical lines now converge here. Originally Twente was a textile industry area. Our company, By Mölle, makes, among other things, ecological linen. Now that the country estate is officially a holiday home, more people can experience what it is like to live in this place in the atmosphere of the past. And the income will again be used to preserve this unique nature reserve.”
Laze on the veranda
With its 1,000 hectares, the Lemelerberg is the largest nature reserve in Overijssel and has been designated a protected nature reserve by the European Union. The terrain has hardly changed in almost a century. Birch, oak and juniper bushes grow on the heath around the chalet. You can walk for hours here, there are plenty of routes to choose from. Afterwards you can relax on the veranda. Or light a fire in the wood stove, there is enough firewood. Otherwise you just get a new load from the lumberhouse. A chopping block and an ax are ready to split kindling. It all adds to the slow living feeling. Add a cup of freshly brewed coffee and enjoy the view of the surrounding valley. You slow down here automatically, the hectic everyday life is quickly forgotten.
What to do in the Vechtdal
Wildlife spotting The immediate vicinity of the Lemelerberg consists of beautiful heath landscapes with beautiful views. Storks, rabbits and hares, roe deer, badgers, owls and various types of (water) birds are the natural inhabitants of the area.
Hiking The Vechtdal has no less than 1,500 km of hiking trails and is one of the most beautiful hiking areas in Overijssel. A popular route is the "Archemerbergroute" (12 km) over the mountain of the same name and the Lemelerberg. Walking unpaved through a beautiful moorland, with the chance of meeting the flock and shepherd. Route description on www.vechtdaloverijssel.nl look under 'routes'. The "Mountain hiking" route (9.9 or 14.2 km) in Salland comes close to the Lemelerberg. Directions on www.rootsmagazine.nl/routes
Landgoed Eerde At about 6 km from Lemele is estate Eerde, between the rivers Regge and Vecht. With the beautiful castle Eerde, with authentic interior, a beautiful park forest, monumental avenues and nice walking and cycling routes nearby. www.natuurmonumenten.nl
Lunch address Herberg de Klomp located on the Vilsteren estate, the dishes are prepared with mostly organic and local ingredients. www.herbergdeklomp.nl
Staying in the Lemelerberg Lodge?
The chalet is suitable for 2-5 persons and is rented from April to October.
Prices from € 360 for a long weekend, including bed linen, tourist tax, firewood, and ecological household products. For more information about the Lemelerberg Lodge, visit www.bymolle.com