Summer, the season in which I have no peace, I need to go, to walk around, to visit. Now, since the week started, I find myself in a tiredness state, after the kilometers we’ve covered in the last 2 days.
Saturday morning, the sun up in the sky, waking us up before the clock alarm starts. In 10 minute we make the bags and suddenly we arrive in Amsterdam Central Station and observe that the train to Maastricht is canceled. Nothing to worry about, the next one is in half an hour.. but that one appears also canceled. From minute to minute, there’s an announcement in Dutch about the trains. It seems something happened, since no train is running to the South. And the girl from the information counter confirmed: a train entered into a bridge (?!) and the trains are canceled, until the route will be evacuated. The time passed quickly and as the seconds fulfill the minute, we exit the train in Maastricht. We need to check out from NS and check in to Veolia, since they are different companies, and in another 15 minutes we are exiting the old station from Valkenburg. It seems the station is one from the best preserved within the country and the facade is confirming this.
As we enter the street across the station, we observe the valley in front of us. After so much time spent in the North of NL, even the small inclined path seem extreme. The route goes through a small park, having on the right side enormous trees, making welcomed shading. As we approach the city center it is more clear that we are in a medieval town, especially when we arrive to the gate over the river. The streets are crowded, a lot of tourists are wandering each way, and most of them are, in fact, Dutch. Somewhere in front, we can see ruins occupying the top of a hill, remembering the multitude of citadels from Romania. There are many terraces around the hill, but nothing made us stay – I am 100% sick of the usual menu: burgers, croquettes, sandwiches. So, even if we were hungry, we’ve postponed with some beer and headed to the ruins. We decided to visit the “Velvet Cave” (Fluweelengrot) before the castle and it was a good choice, since the cave directs you up, right before the castle ruins start. Unfortunately, the guided tour was in Dutch, but we’ve understood small things; for example I understood exactly where the last light bulb is, since only 5 minutes passed since we’ve started the tour. After that, for almost 1 hour, we depended on the light the guided tour was using. The cave has around 7 km and it was used for marl extraction, especially to build the castle. Over the years it served as a hiding place, mostly during the WW2. The walls are covered in some parts with signatures of American soldiers. Beside these signs, some of them are covered with amazing drawing made with charcoal. After the great tour of the cave, we’ve exited at the entrance of the castle ruins. It was a great time to walk around and to see the city laying down. And it was nice to be, after so many months, a little bit above the sea level. Tired after the long train ride and the hours we’ve spent in the city, we calmed with the biggest ice cream I’ve seen and headed to our next stop, a 900 years old monastery. Until the next post, feel free to visit my Facebook page for pictures – here.