28 April 2013

From Koblenz to Nijmegen
Back in Holland and it smells!
finding hotel
Little bit of old Nijmegen
River views
Left over castle bits

For some reason we ended up going to Nijmegen in the Netherlands.  Not sure why, but that was where the ticket went to.  Well, in fact, we didn’t want to go all the way to Utrecht in one go, and needed to stop somewhere!  Going from Germany, we had to switch trains at Venlo.  A pretty city on the border, but we have been here before, so decided not to stay.  Getting out of the train, you knew you were in the Netherlands straight away.  (Or at least Morocco.)  The pungent fragrances wafting up were unmistakeable.  There was weed in the air.  As most Germans know, you don’t need to go to Amsterdam for a coffee shop.  Any village of more than 10 people will probably have one.  Here somebody was enjoying a last joint before boarding the train to go home.  There was a difference here for me though.  No-one called out “Hay Rasta, wanna smoke?”  Refreshing to say the least.
On making it to Nijmegen, we found that the station was a small way out of town, and we needed to find a hotel.

A little bit of old town left

A little bit of old town left

The Mercure  at the station was a bit out of our price range, so we lugged our bags down town.  Here we found another hotel that was the same price.  To cut a long story shot, we ended up staying there as nearly everything is the same price here as well. Expensive.

Nijmegen was one of the main liberation points during the war, and a lot of the old town centre has been destroyed.  There were airborne assaults as well as land crossings along the river.  Unlike parts of Germany, they were not rebuilt in the original style, and there are a wide variety of buildings.

but not much of the castle

but not much of the castle

It is the oldest city in Holland, and used to have a large castle.  To our disappointment, we got there too late to see the castle.  By about 200 years.  Most of the buildings were sold as scrap.  The stones crushed to provide a base to the cobblestones in Amsterdam.  There were two sad little sections of the building left though.  N11postrivermaasA good thing about the city is that they have listed all these small or long walking/cycling tracks.  Signposts placed strategicly around to tell you some of the history of the area.  It was well done, and although we never intentionally did any of the tracks, we were constantly stumbling over the signs.
Down to the river for a peaceful break, looking out over the water and enjoying the evening, then back up to watch the set up for Queensday.  They were starting a bit early here, about midday the day before, so preparations were in full swing.



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