A few weeks ago I was checking out the map, and realized that Germany is probably close enough to walk to. Or, my other wanderings around the region have been at least that far. I thought it would be a fun thing to do, but then I was up in Amsterdam a lot attending the Klik Animation Festival, and then the weather wasn’t cooperative. It’s getting dark quite early, too.
So yesterday, when it proved to be a glorious fall morning, I jumped at what I thought might be my last opportunity this year.
Getting across the freeway was the most challenging part to figure out; I had to find an overpass. But there was one, with (of course) a bike path, and I was soon in the Limburg countryside I have come to know so well.
The weather was just warm enough, and steady breezes were carrying falling leaves off the trees. It was lovely.
It was very quiet, the whole way; we are out of the flight path of most airports, and most people on these little roads are traveling by bike or on foot. I heard the occasional neigh or snort of a horse, a chicken or two, the wind in dried-up corn fields, but almost no motor or engine noises, even when I passed through the tiny villages on my way.
As I got closer to the border I could see (can you see them?!?) HILLS!
I don’t think I’ve seen a hill on the horizon since I was in Dublin, and it was nice to see them. I don’t even know the Dutch word for “hill”, it comes up so seldom.
After about 90 minutes, I reached the border (at least, my phone indicated that this was the border), and it was very anticlimatic. The Netherlands side:
So. TA DAA! I walked to Germany from my house. The German side looked the same as The Netherlands side, although, for a laugh, check out how tidy and grid-like everything immediately becomes:
(There is a big border crossing on the freeway north of where I was; doubtless that’s more impressive, but I didn’t want to walk along a freeway the whole time). I didn’t hang out, but turned around and headed back home.
Along the way, I encountered:
- A couple riding matching horses: black, with braided manes and flowing tails. The couple wore proper riding helmets and boots, and a young beagle trailed after them. The whole scene looked more proper English than Dutch
- A car full of young men who showed me a picture on their phone and asked if I had seen that house. I hadn’t, and asked why they didn’t just map it, and they laughed and said they couldn’t, because they were playing a game. I said that I had just come from walking a long way on this road and hadn’t seen that house. They thanked me and turned off.
- A big dog went trotting across an open field toward a herd of cows. Most of the cows looked up and then went back to grazing, but a couple of the cows pricked up their ears and went forward to meet the dog. The dog went under the fence into the cow field, and some noses were sniffed, and then the dog went bounding off in that big, playful run they do, looking back over his shoulder every few meters to see if he was being chased. The cows, likewise, took off after the dog in a bouncing, playful trot, and they ran around after each other for a while. Interspecies friendship is always cute.
- Along the way, there were fields of corn and vegetables, farms with cows and horses, some stables for riding, and a cute little farmers market type thing with produce and coffee and outside seating.
And then I was back in Roermond and the wind had picked up and the sky was clouding over.
And I made it home just as it was starting to rain. What a lovely day!
all images by yours truly, creative commons license please
3 thoughts on “I Walked to Germany”
[…] did blog about my walk to Germany, but haven’t yet blogged about Asselt, which is an adorable little town in the top center of […]
There are a lot of hills in the south of the province (south Limburg), not too far from Roermond. That’s really the only place to find real hills in the Netherlands.
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A couple years ago I went to the caves in Valkenburg, and it’s like not even being in the Netherlands any more!