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Walking in Limburg, June 2010
From Monday, June 14 until Thursday, June 17, I have walked a part of the Dutch Pelgrimspad. This is a long-distance footpath from Amsterdam to Maastricht, where it connects to the Camino de Santiago, the famous pilgrim's path to Santiago de Compostella, in Spain.

With my friend Paul I have walked in the province Limburg, from Weert to nearby Heerlen. We had perfect weather and covered 88 km in four days, staying overnight in hotels.

A report in pictures, read the captions, a * means additional text.

Paul had walked part of the Pelgrimspad before, so first we took the train from Amsterdam to Weert.
We started walking around noon. Long-distance footpaths in Europe are marked with red-and-white signs, and for the Pelgrimspad there is also a booklet with a description and useful information about overnight accommodation.

The route tries to follow as much as possible footpaths and rural, untarred roads, but that is not always possible. It was a pleasant walk, mainly farmland, cattle farms and forest. Many wild flowers, as it was early summer. And many chapels and crucifixes, this part of the Netherlands is steeped in (Roman-Catholic) religion. We saw several asparagus farms, and we were looking forward to have dinner with the "white gold" as the vegetable is nicknamed in the Netherlands. And with beer of course, another specialty of the region, traditionally brewed by monks. Strong beer, when you have tasted it, you will scorn Carlsberg or Heineken..:-) Walking distance ~ 20 km

The next day our route took us to Thorn, the "White Town". Founded in the tenth century, it has a rich history. The Benedictine convent was popular with rich noble ladies. Now only the St Michael's church remains.
After lunch with Dutch pancake, we continued along the river Maas to Maaseik. This small town is actually located in Belgium, the river forms the border. One of the most famous Flemish Renaissance painters, Jan van Eyck, was born here. After two beers on one of the sunny terraces, we had a simple dinner of Belgian fries. Walking distance ~ 25 km

The third day we continued our walk to Sittard,crossing first the Maas river and next the Juliana canal. The Maas (Meuse in French) is not navigable, the parallel canal is a busy waterway. Nice countryside, farmland, small villages, churches. Sittard is a provincial town, with an attractive market square, and of course many churches. Walking distance ~ 25 km

On the last day we walked further south. The terrain becomes more hilly, interesting region for walking. We had planned to stop in Nuth, because there was a train station there. At the end of the afternoon we were back in Amsterdam, tired, but very satisfied.

Start of the walk *

Trail markers *
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The Pilgrims' Path *
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Flowers *

One of the many "vennen" *

Yellow Iris

Both in Malaysia and the Netherlands!

The famous Dutch cattle

Red Holstein cow

Limburg landscape

Lunch time *
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A roadside chapel

Nice roof of the chapel

Dedicated to Maria

Chapels everywhere *

Corn windmill


Beautiful path

Looks very dangerous

Asparagus farm *

Cream of asparagus, delicious

Enjoying my dinner

Our countryside hotel in Ell

The next day

Imposing churches everywhere

War graves *

Would not mind living here

Coffee with "vlaai" *

A horse and its foal *

A deer park *

Thorn, the white town *

Thorn houses

More Thorn houses
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And even more


Thorn musical society

Street art *

Lunch time *

The St Michael church *

The church interior *

Roof with statue of Maria

A mummy in the church crypt

We leave Thorn

The Maas (Meuse) river with a ferry *
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Rural countryside

Maaseik *
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Statue of de van Eyck's *

Maaseik buildings *

Nice example of Maasland renaissance

Beer! *

Simple food :-) *

Market in Maaseik


Konik horses *

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Destination: Santiago di Compostella *
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Many crucifixes

Limburg landscape with swan

The region is very fertile

Wheat fields

A yellow wagtail *

The Juliana canal

Ships waiting for the lock to open

Entering the lock

Two cars for transport over land!

Beautiful rows of trees

The castle of Limbricht

Market square of Sittard
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Our hotel in Sittard

St Michael's church, facade

Churches of Sittard *

St Michael's church

St Peter's church

Interior St Peter's church

Statue of the Holy Virgin

More beer! *


View of the Maas valley

Hollow road *

Wild cherry tree *

Very small fruits


And another one

Santiago is still far away


Another corn windmill

Water for the thirsty traveler

Google Earth image of our route *

wrote on Jun 20, 2010:
Everything is clinical and touched by an artist.

Liz wrote on Jun 20, 2010:
Should be an advert for Dutch lady !

Liz wrote on Jun 20, 2010:
Limburg cheese for lunch?

wrote on Jun 20, 2010:

wrote on Jun 20, 2010:
OH.. Really nice.. :)

Liz wrote on Jun 20, 2010:
Great shot!

geetee wrote on Jun 20, 2010:
Aaah Jan, but the weather is always so pleasant for walking in Europe. Envy you.. because I like to walk (and smell the roses) too. When I was in the UK in 1986, instead of taking the company van, we often walked thru the woods to and from our work place which was actually a manor house in the countryside. It was always cool and pleasant even though it was Summer.

Kwai Loh wrote on Jun 20, 2010:
It's a tool for the farmers to plough their land...:-)

wrote on Jun 20, 2010:
what is this???

wrote on Jun 21, 2010:
Did you do the walk once before?

wrote on Jun 21, 2010:
The weather/climate looks great. Air looks so clean. And the towns are absolutely gorgeous. Thanks for sharing this insight. Now I have one more item on my to-go list.

Kwai Loh wrote on Jun 21, 2010:
Not the Pelgrimspad. There is an extensive network of long-distance paths in the Netherlands. The most famous one is the Pieterpad Many years ago I have started in the North, walking a few days, and the next time starting where I had finished before. Of course you have come in my mind often, especially when we came across a chapel where a candle could be lit...:-)

wrote on Jun 21, 2010:
It's really glad to see how people appreciate their history and preserve their culture. The well kept details, buildings, villages, statues, footpaths, environments really show us how much effort and care had been put in. Things like these can never be achieved by greed, but respect and of course honor and love. There's much for me to learn especially taking time in life, not to make a living but to make life itself beautiful, to live it, not pursue it. I can't stop wondering...

Kwai Loh wrote on Jun 21, 2010:
We were lucky with the weather. After we were back in Amsterdam, the temperature dropped to ~ 14° C, with rain and stormy winds.

Kwai Loh wrote on Jun 21, 2010:
Thanks for your interesting comment. Don't be too optimistic about the mentality here in the Netherlands. There is greed here too and disrespect for the cultural/natural environment.

wrote on Jun 21, 2010:
You & Paul walked for 88km in 4 days?

Kwai Loh wrote on Jun 21, 2010:
Yes, the first and the last day about 19 km, and the other two days about 25 km. Mind you, the Netherlands are flat...:-)

wrote on Jun 21, 2010:
nice shoot

wrote on Jun 21, 2010:
Who was he?

Kwai Loh wrote on Jun 21, 2010:
Probably a monk or a priest. He must have lived around 1600. The mummification was a natural process.

wrote on Jun 21, 2010:
Talk about going the extra mile!

wrote on Jun 21, 2010:

Kwai Loh wrote on Jun 21, 2010:
Yes, sugar-based syrup..:-) It seems a strange combination, the sweet syrup with the salty bacon, but I can tell you, it is addictive..

wrote on Jun 22, 2010:
Thanks, Jan.

wrote on Jun 22, 2010:
hey jan, nice album of your hometown. :) I did not see any Dutch cattle when i was there! Only the skin for sale at volendam.. haha

wrote on Jun 22, 2010:
I like the architecture!

wrote on Jun 22, 2010:
Amazing how they grew in such a straight line, isn't it? Probably that's why they built the road there.

wrote on Jun 22, 2010:
I love town squares like this.

wrote on Jun 22, 2010:
There are 4 towns named Lunch??

wrote on Jun 22, 2010:
Looks like if it turned over, it could still run. Maybe a safety feature??

wrote on Jun 22, 2010:
delicious looking! Similar with pies?

Kwai Loh wrote on Jun 22, 2010:
Yes, very similar. To the left is cherry vlaai, to the right "kruimelvlaai" (crumbled butter and sugar mix ) Here is a recipe

wrote on Jun 22, 2010:
That's what I don't like about your photos, Jan, they always make me hungry!

Kwai Loh wrote on Jun 23, 2010:
In the Netherlands trees don't just grow! They are always planted..:-). So what about the road being built first...haha?

Kwai Loh wrote on Jun 23, 2010:
Most of the time we just bought bread, cheese and milk, and had lunch "al fresco". Only the second lunch was in a town, Thorn...:-)

Kwai Loh wrote on Jun 23, 2010:
Oeps! It is not a plough, it is a rake (I am a town boy..haha). The picture shows the rake as it is transported along the road. In the field the two sides are folded out. Here you can find everything you always wanted to know about rakes.

wrote on Jun 23, 2010:
I suppose bak-kwa is also bacony and sweet. It still sounds more palatable than vegemite and honey toast.

wrote on Jul 18, 2010:
They look so clean. Are the vennen maintained by the local authorities - or are they left to "fend for themselves"?

wrote on Jul 18, 2010:
There's no one around !!

wrote on Jul 18, 2010:
Congrats. Was wondering whether we would get to see Dutch birds.

wrote on Jul 18, 2010:
A beautiful travelogue. Thanks.

wrote on Jul 18, 2010:
Lovely. We seldom get to see this on our lightning tours.

wrote on Jul 18, 2010:
From now onwards, we will get to see this in Malaysia??

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