Mar 29, 2020

#401 Project All the Train stations in the Netherlands 7.Valkenburg

7.Valkenburg


Valkenburg station is the oldest station building in the Netherlands. The whole town is geared up for tourism being a tourist hot spot especially since the station opened in 1853. Steam trains, caves, castles Christmas markets, spas, plenty of restaurants and terraces and lots of places for a walk/hike. The town is chock-a-block with B&B's and hotels.  



Mar 25, 2020

#401 Project All the Train stations in the Netherlands 6. Houthem-St. Gerlach

6. Houthem-St. Gerlach

Just about 8 km northeast of Maastricht was my 6th Station stop Houtem St. Gerlach. The station is (according to Wikipedia) the only wooden station left in the Netherlands- I will soon find out if that is true.

The hilly rural area is popular as a cycle route so the roads do get busy in summer with cars and bikes. There is a nature reserve close to the station but I spent my time rambling around the St. Gerlach Estate sampling the local food and filling my bags with locally made conserves/honey/juices. Complete with castle, church and sculpture gardens all very close to each other. The Sint Gerlach Estate provides perfect dreamy rambling grounds for a summers day.  I can definitely recommend the food in either the cafe at the front of the estate or the bistro to round off a perfect day.











Mar 23, 2020

#401 Project All the Train stations in the Netherlands 5. Meerssen

5. Meerssen


If you make a day trip to Meerssen, be sure to have a look inside the Basiliek van het Helig Sacrament. You can't miss this massive limestone, 14th Century, structure as it is right in front of the square and lined with terraces and cafes. I love a Gothic church and this one is a beautiful example with such exquisite details hidden everywhere. This richly decorated church is one of my favourites in The Netherlands. If churches are not your thing then Proosdij Park will supply alternative amusement on your wanderings. 








Mar 17, 2020

#401 Project All the Train stations in the Netherlands 4. Maastricht Noord

4. Maastricht Noord

Under 5 km north of Maastricht is my 4th stop. Maastricht Noord. Was not sure if there was a lot to do or see here. It serves as a useful transport hub to Maastricht with a park and ride. Upon further investigation the area has some fine monument buildings for example Chateau Jerusalem  and the Chateau Bethlehem  - which is currently being run as a teaching hotel and according to wiki is a 13th Century structure and one of the oldest castles in the Netherlands - it looks more recent to me but I'm not an expert! So, if you find yourself in this region there are pleasant areas for a walk or a cup of coffee.













Mar 16, 2020

#401 Project All the Train stations in the Netherlands 3. Maastricht

3. Maastricht


The 3rd Station visit was Maastricht. Maastricht has a lot to offer a day tripper. One of my favourite indoor spots is the Bonnefantenmuseum which houses both old and contemporary art and is situated right by the Mass river in an eye-catching building designed by Aldo Rossi.  A quick walk over one of the city bridges into compact city centre and there you will find plenty to keep anyone entertained for days - lovely cafes and restaurants, shopping, squares, churches. basilica's old city walls, forts, caves and nice parks. Sitting around for a drink in one of the many terraces is the best way to digest all that art, architecture and city sights, to take a breather and soak up that atmosphere - the atmosphere of a city lying between two borders. 









Mar 7, 2020

#401 Project All the Train stations in the Netherlands 2. Maastricht Randwyck

2. Maastricht Randwyck 


Today I went to station number 2 Maastricht Randwyck on my travels.  Basic station with two platforms. It is serviced by the Belgium railways and Arriva. If you plan to visit the Maastricht UMC hospital, the MECC or the Randwyck University Campus this is the best station you need. 

If you depart the station (via the railway bridge) and walk past the Management school towards the University hospital 'noord passage' entrance - you will come across an interesting mini display. Medical themed historic facts about certain eras and with various memorabilia. It makes for an interesting read when you have 10-20 minutes to spare- the display changes throughout the year. You can find the directions on the MUMC link above


Mar 2, 2020

#401 Project All the Train stations in the Netherlands 1 Eijsden


1. Eijsden- the most southern station in the Netherlands


RailtheTrails

I cycled from Maastricht train station on an OV fiets and ended up in a fabulous terrace café (http://www.aontbat.nl/) looking out on the Maas River. Eetcafe Aon B’at is a busy popular spot along the river and sitting here you are on Dutch soil, the border runs under the Maas so across the water lies Belgium.

Outside the café, a little bike ferry runs across the water to Belgium. The train station in Eijsden is the most southern station and is a 6 minute trip from Maastricht's main train station.

The region around Eijsden is known for growing fruit so it was particularly nice to cycle through in Spring and see the fields of cherry trees in bloom. In season there are walking tours and fruit picking outings (more info on the VVV website: https://www.visitzuidlimburg.nl/omgeving/plaatsen/detail/eijsden/55/

Cycling along the river offers beautiful views and if you venture in through the village you will be rewarded with views of old farmhouses, cobbled streets, a very nice bakery near the station, and a short walk outside the village there is a beautiful old residence or castle that is well worth a visit (not open to the public but the grounds are lovely to explore in the sunshine sun).