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vrijdag 2 mei 2014

Valkenburg at the river Geul


An old town, dominated by the castle on top of the ridge. You see it when entering by train; the station as a fairy tale mansion. That is what Valkenburg wanted to be in the early last century; a refuge for tourists in a dedicated landscape, a romantic scenery for those to visit.


It is a short walk towards the town center, passing statues, and old belongings from a not even over past. A poem of the Limburgian poet Jan Hanlo: “ It was half five in the morning in April. I walked, and whistled the St. Louis Blues. But I whistled it my own way. And while whistling I thought: Should my whistle be as the song of a big thrush. And see, after some time my whistling of the St. Louis Blues was like the song of the big thrush: turdus viscivorus.”


Such old buildings slanting alongside the streets, the roads that lead the tourists, the visitors to all what the town has to offer; a pear tree grows spread up and along the wall, embraces the house and bewares it from falling.


The Geul, the river, cuts the center in two; people lived here for ages alongside the once stinking water, and it still smells on warm days, when the sun vaporizes, and also charming, romancing anyone who leans over, wonder about the sculptures on private bridges, greeting the fishermen in high boots trying to catch the trout that has its hunting ground here.


It is full of terraces; one can see where this village is still meant for: to please, and make sure you leave your money on food and drinks, and the countless attractions. But it is also a beautiful place as long as tourists are not fading the surroundings, not blocking the view at the mighty scenery of old and new, and mingle the sometimes almost faded commercial paintings; restored for nostalgic purposes.



Heaven on a quite day like this, when most chairs are still empty, no jams for the Cauberg, the holy Dutch mount of cycling. Here is too much to see for one day; to much Kitsch as cheap attractions, luring those who fall for it; one can still find the pearls that are still there. Just enjoy a day walking through Valkenburg at the Geul.















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