Stuif's Adventures

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Pelgrimspad 2015
This will be my third report about the Pilgrims Path!
In 2010 Paul and I have been walking part of this long-distance footpath from Weert to Nuth.
Last year we have continued our walk. Our target was to reach Maastricht, but I got blisters and had to stop after one day, so I only walked from Nuth to Gulpen.
This time we started at Gulpen for a two-day walk. It was the Whitsun weekend, so it was not easy to find accommodation. Finally we found a suitable hotel in Heerlen.

We arrived Saturday afternoon. Heerlen was the center of the Dutch coal mining industry and is not particularly interesting. But it has one outstanding building, the Glaspaleis (Glass Palace), built in 1935 in modernist style and listed as one of the world's thousand most architecturally important buildings of the 20th century. The building was closed but the roof restaurant was open, and we had a wonderful dinner there.

Our hotel in Heerlen
 

Spartan room, but ok
 

Glaspaleis (1935) to the right
 

Pancratius Church (~1400)
 

Modern and Old
 

Dír Maatbuul (market vendor)
 

Mural art
 

Glaspaleis roof cafe
 

Dinner in the Glaspaleis
 

Delicious food
 

More mural art
 

The next morning we first had to take a bus to Gulpen. Not much transport on a Sunday, it was a minibus. The weather was perfect, sunny and even warm. When you compare the pictures in this report with those taken last year, you will notice the similarity..:-) Nice landscapes, spring flowers,cattle, road crucifixes.

Waiting for the bus
 

A minibus
 

Gulpen, start of the walk
 

Beautiful rhododendrons
 

Limburg landscape
 

Holstein (Friesian) cows
 

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Many half-timbered houses
 

A road crucifix
 

You find them everywhere
 

Castle of Wijlre
 

The Brand beer brewery
 

We first walked to Wijlre, a small village. It is in this village that the Brand beer brewery is located. The watermill dates back to the 13th century! One of the water wheels is still working.
Our walk continued through fields and meadows, following the romantic Geul river. Here and there a funny turnstile. In the past, much farmland was fenced off and these turnstiles made it impossible for cattle to pass from one field to another.

Well protected..:-)
 

The watermill of Wijlre
 

Still working
 

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View of the mill and the village
 

An orgy of spring flowers
 

A useless turnstile
 

The river Geul
 

Very romantic
 

Following the Geul river, we arrived in Schin op Geul, another small village, where we had coffee with the famous Limburg "vlaai".
This part of the Limburg province is popular with local tourists and during this Whitsun weekend we were not the only walkers...:-)
We continued our walk, had to cross (carefully) the railroad tracks and climbed up a hill to visit the Schaelsberg hermitage.

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Time for coffee
 

With Limburg "vlaai"
 

Church of Schin op Geul
 

Farm courtyard. Artistic..:-)
 


 

Crossing the railroad tracks
 

Have to be careful
 

Kluis hermitage
 

The chapel
 

It is a chapel with a small living space attached. A beautiful quiet place. From 1688 until 1930 a succession of 16 Franciscan and Carthusian hermits lived in this hermitage. As usual I had to light a candle in the chapel. Next to the chapel there are the Stations of the Cross, built in 1843
Walking down after our visit, we passed "De drie beeldjes", three statues of Mary, Jesus and John. There is an interesting legend about this group of statues (in Dutch)

Interior
 

Lighting a candle
 

Stations of the Cross
 

One of the stations
 

Central shrine
 

Station nr 11
 

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De Drie Beeldjes
 

...
 

"Brandrood" cattle
 

Schaloen castle
 

impressive
 

Not far from the hermitage we passed the impressive Schaloen castle. The hermitage was originally a hunting hut of the Schaloen nobility. We walked and walked, crossing fields and farmland. Once we were passed by a group of WWII vintage cars...:-). Finally we walked to a bus stop, where we took the bus to Maastricht.

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Turnstile still in use
 

Christmas(?) tree nursery
 

Young Christmas tree
 

War zone...:-)?
 

In the bus to Maastricht
 

Less spartan hotel
 

Maastricht
 

We had booked a hotel there (Bastion), not far from the city center.
Maastricht is one of my favourite towns in the Netherlands. We had dinner in another nice restaurant, with local food. And beer of course! Altogether we had walked 26 km on this day!
Not bad for a septuagenarian..:-)

The river Maas
 

Town Hall (17th cent.)
 

Matthias church (14th cent.)
 

Vrijthof, main town square
 

restaurant Lure
 

Proost/Cheers !
 

Nice local food
 

One more for the road
 

Vrijthof by night
 

Romantic
 

The next day
 

During the night it had rained and it was still clouded when we started. Even some drizzle. But later it became better, with sometimes a bit of sun. Of course we had first to take the bus back to where we had stopped the day before..:-).
Nice forest, with many hollow ways, very characteristic for the Limburg landscape. As we had to travel back to Amsterdam (about 3 hour by bus and train), we walked less, only about 14 km. Waiting for the bus back to Maastricht, we had a very Dutch lunch, with "kroketten" and beer of course. The Dutch Pelgrimspad continues for another 22 km to the Belgian border, where it connects with the "Camino" leading eventually to Santiago de Compostella. But I will stop here...:-)
The last picture shows a map of our hike (green), the bus connections (white) and our city walk in Maastricht (red/orange)

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Cadier en Keer
 

Limburg farm
 

A holloway
 

We saw many escargots
 

This is a slow-worm, not a snake
 

Nice fungus
 

Another turnstile
 

Where is the path..:-)?
 

Lunch
 

Our hike (in green)
 

lightlingmk2 wrote on Jun 3, 2015:
Thanks for sharing. Jan.

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