De Lijn provides free buses for admirers of the hyacinths in Hallerbos
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    De Lijn provides free buses for admirers of the hyacinths in Hallerbos

    © Wikipedia
    © Wikipedia

    The Flemish public transport company, De Lijn, is providing a free bus service from Saturday 13 April to enable visitors to admire the wild hyacinths in the Hallerbos in Flemish Brabant. The commuter bus will run for three successive weekends between the train station and the forest, also known as the Blue Forest. The service will also be available on Easter Monday and the 1st of May.

    “For people who are not on foot or bicycle, the bus is the best way to get to the Hallerbos,” said Filip Hubin, spokesman of the Flemish agency Natuur en Bos. “Travel by car will be difficult, especially since the Vlasmarktdreef, which runs through the forest, will be closed to traffic.”

    The new bus service represents a 25,000-euro investment for the Flemish region.

    To manage the flow of people, the agency hopes to be assisted by about 40 volunteers, although only 12 have signed up so far. “In addition to informing visitors, they also have to make people aware that they need to stay on the paths,” Hubin said. “Some people think they can picnic among the flowers or take photos while walking on them.”

    Hyacinths begin to flower around mid-April and continue to do so for three weeks. “However, that depends heavily on weather conditions,” Hubin explained. “If the sun starts shining from now, flowering will probably begin earlier; but if the weather is bad like last year’s, the period will be much shorter.”

    Oscar Schneider
    The Brussels Times