A Slow Day inThe Netherlands

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Flag of Netherlands  , Utrecht,
Tuesday, September 25, 2012

We had intentions to go explore a couple of small towns in the Netherlands.  It was a kind of rainy and grey day and none of us were really up for a long drive to Amsterdan.  Our first town was Mastricht, which is located in the southernmost city in the Netherlands and part of the Dutch province of Limburg.  It developed from a Roman settlement, to a religious centre, a garrison city and an early industrial city.  It is the birthplace of the European Union, European Citizenship and the European currency, the Euro.  Herein lies -the end of you history lesson...I just copied this off the internet, its not like I know this stuff.  The city didn't escape the ravages of the war and was taken by the Germans in May of 1940, but in 1944 was liberated by allied forces.  The Meuse river runs through it and I've posted a couple of pics.  City Hall is a beautiful building as is Saint Servatius Basilica.  Unfortunately, the town businesses were mostly closed as it was- a Monday morning, so all we could do was wander and look in windows.  We managed to get a wonderful cup of coffee...we are totally in love with European coffee!  There are two beautiful town squares in the city, and I suppose if it weren't a Monday, they would have been teeming with people.  Cycling seems to be the transport of choice for many people and traffic laws are heavily biased to cyclists.  No sane driver would cut off a cyclist since in the case of an accident, the cyclist is almost presumed innocent.  Its unfortunate we were unable to to tour the Saint Pietersberg Caves with over 20,000 passages dug out over  centuries -and used as shelter during sieges and bombings.  Its not tourist season so things like this are closed except weekends.  We left Masstricht and traveled on to Valkenburg, where we had hoped to tour some caves.  Unfortunately, they too were only open weekends so we hope to revisit this when we get back after Italy.  Our day was doomed for sightseeing it seemed, as we were just barely able to escape the town as they were cordoning streets off for a bike race!  We came home early and did some research on our next stops. I've posted some pics but I apologize, this is not a particularly interesting blog.  I will improve :)
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