Next Stop on our Vacation: The Netherlands

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The day after The Blogger’s Bash, Hubs and I flew to Amsterdam and rented a car. One of the men at Budget programed the car’s GPS for us and we drove to the tiny town of Huissen, about halfway between Arnhem and Nijmegan in western Holland. We had scheduled a visit with an old colleague of mine from my academic career (we were in the same field) who lived in Huissen; we were staying in an old three story, narrow hotel in Nijmegan.

Nijmegen is the oldest city in the Netherlands, with its first historical mention in the 1st century BC, when the Romans built a military camp on the place where Nijmegen was to appear; the location had great strategic value because of the surrounding hills, which gave (and continue to give) a good view over the Waal and Rhine valley. In 2005, it celebrated 2,000 years of existence.

You can see the diversion of the river on the left constructed to handle the overflow of water from snow runoff in the spring, which can flood the city.

Nijmegan is situated on the Wall River, close to the German border, and in 1940, it was the first Dutch city to fall into German hands during the invasion. Nijmegen was liberated from German occupation by the British Grenadier Guards and the Guards Armored Division along with well as elements of the American 82nd Airborne Division (to which I have a direct tie) in September 1944.

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This is the historical watchtower, built in 1900, that greets you as you enter the city,

 

 

Our hotel room was on the fourth floor of the hotel, which had no lift! The hotel had undergone an extensive modernization so we had a lovely room under the eaves, with a bathtub in the room, set down slightly from the wooden floor.

The next day, my colleague took us to see the oldest castle in the Netherlands, Doomenberg Castle,

which dates from the 13th century. Unfortunately, the castle was closed because they were filming a children’s show in the courtyard, but we walked around it, admiring its structure and the moat. It was occupied until the 19th century. After that it fell into disrepair and became a ruin, but was completely restored between 1947 and 1968.

After lunch, we walked around Nijmegan itself, visiting the older parts

 

 

 

 

 

of the city, including the Old Market Square.

We had dinner at a restaurant overlooking the river, and admired the old wooden floodgates.

The next day we spent some time programming our GPS on our own and ended up in a wheat field.

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