March 10, 2014

A formerly moated Castle and the Dutch Mountains

Sonja: We had spent a long weekend in in the Rhineland, for Roland to visit a concert in Cologne, and for both of us to spend some time with our friends and family.

Not far from were my mom lives lies castle Lüntenbeck. The castle can be dated back to the early 13th century, and is a former residence of the knights of Berg.
In past times the castle had been moated but the area got drained later, and only a small pond behind the building remained. The manor is in private hands today, and has been carefully restored by the owners.
Main building
Parts on the premises are rented out. Naturally the picturesque venue attracts artists and wellness providers. Also, a restaurant can be found in the main building, offering an eclectic choice of (mostly) vegetarian dishes.
Mill
During Christmas time a handcraft Christmas Market is held in the yard. The market is known for its authenticity and atmosphere, especially since the artisans will be traditionally dressed up in costumes from the middle ages.

The temperatures were mild and we saw definite signs of spring.

Saturday we ventured out towards Aachen to visit friends in the area. We were a bit early and decided to take a detour to the city of Vaals in Holland. The Vaalser Mountain (323m or 1,059 ft) belongs to the foothills of the Ardennes, and marks not only the highest (!) point in the Netherlands, but also the border triangle of Germany, Netherlands and Belgium.
We climbed the watch tower to admire the panorama.
A view towards Germany.
 Now overlooking Belgium.
And a panoramic shot of the famous Dutch "mountain range".
So, we have learned today, that the Netherlands are not completely flat.

Sunday noon we left after a brunch celebration of a family member's birthday and drove 400km south again. It was warm and sunny… and would have been a good day for a ride, too...
72F

14 comments:

  1. I like the tower and the panorama shots. Especially the one showing the "mountain range". Wonderful trip and beautiful photos.

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    1. Richard, mountain range in the Netherlands sounds strange, I have to admit that.

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  2. Sonja, 22C, really?? Wow, that's more than a sign of spring. You're making me very jealous.

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    1. David, there are times that we appreciate being back in the home country, even if it is just for the weather ;-)

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  3. I guess I am astonished that Germany is this green and spring-like because I always assumed that the weather would be more like northern US. I'm assuming other parts of Germany are as cold and snowy as we have been, but at higher altitude? But then again I think you did say the winter was mild. Whatever the usual is, this is a beautiful region.

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    1. Martha, the winter we had wasn't by far normal. It doesn't get Northern US cold, but we usually we have snow and low temps, too. No complaints though, I don't miss snow too much.

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  4. we were pretty jealous last weekend seeing the weather forecast with this high temperatures in Germany ;-). And again, nice trips in such a short distance and so much history.

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    1. Yvonne, we have indeed become accustomed again to traveling through time and history within a few hours.

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  5. Wow, such green grass!!! Disturbing.

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    1. Bianka, I thought that you might think that...

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  6. So pretty. That looks like a Forsythia blooming yellow. They've started around here too.

    Can I just say for the record I'd like to live in a castle with a moat - or at least put a moat around our house.

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    1. I would like to have a moat, too. And sometimes you don't let the bridge down, and will be all to yourself.

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  7. I've always liked the "old yellow" color of the Main Building picture, Italy is filled with houses painted in that color I recall....the last pano gives you good perspective....nice.

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    1. Dom, I also found the house paint gave it a mediterranean look. It seemed however popular colour for the Rhineland area as well.

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