This last week I travelled by train to Limburg to send a box to my son. Really? Yes, a six hour ( 3 hour each way by train), two day trip to Limburg just to mail a box full of books and small items.
It must have been my motherly instinct kicked into overdrive.
No, the Dutch postal system has not gone on strike (just too darn expensive to mail a box from here to where he is now serving in the Middle East). Last box was over 18 Euros for under 2 kgs.
Since he had requested books to read, that meant I had to call in some favors from some of my old government friends to get a box through the military postal service. Yes, that costs me more in train ride 15 Euro each way and overnight at a B&B (77.50 Euro) but in the end I got to hike along the way. Very costly boxes no matter how I send them.
I started at the Schiphol Airport via the train to Schinnen located in the heart of Limburg. I had a fellow retiree drive me around to get the box mailed. No task is ever easy and it took half a day just to get it all taken care of and sent. Hopefully the box will arrive in my son’s hands before Christmas.
At 3pm I checked into a wonderful B&B located long the Geleenbeek River in Schinnen. This is not the first time I have stayed at the Meens B&B in Schinnen, I had another stay about a year and half ago and was happy that this popular B&B had availability for stay.
The days are short and dark before Kerst (Dutch word for Christmas). Sunset is close to 4:30pm and so I had to hurry to find my way to the hiking trail. My plan was to hike the small trail that runs along the Geleenbeek to Castle Terborgh that has a small restaurant. The B&B owner told me I had to hurry as they shut down the kitchen at half past five.
As the sun started to set the shaded trail started to become shadowed. This wide path was easy to see even in the fading light. At one point a wood bench indicated that the restaurant was 300 meters.
The walk onto the castle grounds was exciting as I imagined the history that was contained within the walls. If only buildings could talk the history this castle most likely had some cool stories to tell.
The walls of this restaurant were filled with old photos, artifacts, and felt warm and inviting. I sat down and soon was in conversation with one of the locals who was sitting having a beer. Once he found out I was American he started telling me (as many Dutch do) about the last visit he made to the USA. Along the Florida coast.
After a very nice dinner, chat with this old guy, and a glass of wine to warm me for my return hike, I started out towards my B&B where I retired for a relaxing evening.
The next morning I looked out to grass covered in frost. The glow as the sun hit the sparkles of frost made everything shine with magical white glow.
I was greeted with a wonderful breakfast that was brought to the cabin in a picnic basket by the owner. Marleen is just a wonderful host and was concerned I didn’t have enough to eat.
This was the perfect short getaway. The large roomy private cabin that has every comfort overlooking nature was what I needed to recharge my battery for the upcoming holiday season. I always feel like the time I spend in Limburg is not long enough as I always find other places I want to visit and explore.
As I made my way to the train, I stopped one last time to look at the Geleenbeek. The banks covered in frost, the small brook flowing aimlessly towards the Castle Terborgh, a bit of sadness in my heart as I had to say goodbye for now to Limburg and head home to the Randstad.
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