Leaving the bustle of Amsterdam, it was a two hour train ride down south to where we hoped for a relaxed, calm few days with the family before moving on along #winterwanderlust. We began with settling into our hotel we reacquainted with the family and made our way into Valkenburg, a small Dutch town with lots of festive spirit!
The biggest part of the evening was at the beginning with the Kerstfestival Christmas Parade! We watched scores of young people and kids dancing to music from all over the world and various floats celebrating different world cultures. From little children dressed up as Elvis to a giant man in a snow king outfit it was a local treat that everybody loved!
From there we settled for dinner of a traditional Dutch, Pea and Ham soup called Ertwensoep and the Limburg Region favourite of soured meat called Zuurvlees. A brilliant evening with the family!
The next day was another local treat. Valkenburg is host to a number of spectacular caves from the mining of local sandstone, and the locals use these caves to create sand sculptures of the nativity and a Christmas story every year. This year we were treated to the story of Charles Dicken’s “A Christmas Carol” built out of sand. It was incredibly impressive, and made even more special as my young cousin, Lucas was translating the signs for us.
Up the hill on a chairlift we spent the morning on toboggans, eating waffles and climbing a tower to look out on a large portion of Limburg. Following; we enjoyed the sauna and spa of Chateau St Gerlach for the afternoon before heading into Maastricht for a tapas style dinner.
The Chateau St Gerlach is a brilliant hotel, full of very nice rooms and apartments and portrays a very classy image. The main feature I would recommend visiting for it the Chapel. The Chapel is full of frescos of insane beauty as it was originally the Norbertine Abbey. It is famous for its beautiful frescos and baroque architecture.
Limburg was a great and pleasant trip, and a brilliant way to relax before #winderwanderlust gets very hectic in the run up to NYE! Thanks to the De Jong family for hosting us, and to all the friendly people of Limburg!
#jongmasjourney then pushed everything into a car to drive a few hours to the other end of Holland in Friesland. It was here were we spent Christmas at Oma and Opa’s place for a delicious meal and lots of discussion neither Bek nor I could understand! It was a really nice evening with brilliant food and a huge thanks has to go out to the Jongma family for that!
As we have moved onward to Berlin it is sad to say goodbye to the Netherlands, I’ve really enjoyed being back there multiple times this year and will miss it dearly! I’m already thinking about when I can go back again!
Until next time, as Grandma’s friend Laurie always says….
“Love all around”