22 July 2012

Batemans, Venlo and Maastricht

Last Sunday we travelled to Dover to stay overnight and get the early morning ferry to Calais the next morning.  It is a lengthy journey to Kent in spite of the fact that we live on the south coast.  It involves going along roads that follow the coast or to take the motorways up to the M25 and back down to Kent, so it was the coastal route that we chose for our outward journey.

David and I visited a National Trust property called Batemans, which was the home of Rudyard Kipling, near the East Sussex - Kent border, with lovely gardens and a nice, if windy day to enjoy the scenery.

First thing we saw was the crown, which was probably covered in flowers, now passed over but still an impressive entrance.
The house with entrance at the end of the path
This building with the dovecote adjoined the house and is now the NT shop
A rose garden with a pond at the end

From a nice day on Sunday to a drab day starting on the ferry to Calais then driving on to Venlo in Holland. This was a distance of about 250km and we managed to get our satnav converted to kilometres from miles to help keep track of our journey and got there about mid afternoon.

 Just to show we've got there - in the market place outside the town hall.  That's him above
and he took a photo of me!

As Tuesday was another wet drab day we decided that our visits to the Floriade would be Wednesday and Thursday.  From the weather reports that we saw before leaving the UK Wednesday had the least chance of rain.  So on Tuesday we ventured to Maastricht.  Getting the was easy enough with the motorway system in Holland but trying to find the car parks was more difficult because the signs we would follow would suddenly disappear and later found out that most car parks are underground with only discreet signs to show where they were!  We did find a parking sign and followed that into the car park itself but the steps came up in what seemed like a residential area, but was just around the corner from the market square.

Guess what this building it?  Yes it looks like a church

But it's a bookshop!
This old church lent itself to being a pretty amazing bookshop with a cafe at the alter end of the building. Just near that end were a lot of cookbooks and it was funny to see Jamie Oliver's or Gordon Ramsey's books with Dutch titles! Being a tall building there were a couple of floors of books in the middle of the shop.
I had to take a photo of the old bridge over the River Maas, which has a religious figure on the bridge support holding out his hand which a gull has used to perch upon.  There were also quite a lot of artwork around the city and here's just a few things below.

 Going further along we found the old city walls and Hells Gate

It was the afternoon and as you can see by now the sky had cleared and we actually saw some SUN!


  1. Thanks Susan. The only thing I know about Maastricht is the Treaty (like so many people I expect) but now I appreciate there is a lot to be enjoyed, especially that cool bookshop. It's a shame when churches close but they are good venues for such amazing things.

  2. Fabulous photos, thanks for sharing


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