GERMANY / THE NETHERLANDS – In the southern province of Limburg, on a narrow strip of land between the Meuse river and German border, lies the part of the Netherlands that somehow feels the least Dutch. I don’t know this region very well, and have gathered the photos of two of my rare visits to it in this post.

Swalmen, 2014-08-31

I was traveling back to Liège after visiting a friend of mine who lives in the Achterhoek (a region in the eastern Netherlands), when my train broke down in Swalmen. So I decided to have a look around while all the other passengers impatiently waited for the substitute bus.

1. Being in a coal rich area close to both the Ruhr and Wallonia, Limburg was one of the first parts of the country to be industrialised. Though the mines have long closed, there are factories of some kind in many places

2. The station building

3. Some houses in a style between Dutch, Belgian and German that is typical of the region

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Walking down a side street towards one of the factories, which makes cattle feed:

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Tegelen, Kaldenkirchen and Reuver, 2016-10-29

Another time I visited the region was when I was going to attend a concert in Düsseldorf with the same friend who lives in the Achterhoek, who called me when I was about to leave to say that he might not be able to make it due to private circumstances.

My first destination was Venlo, but service was suspended for the last few kilometers, so I decided to start my bike ride (on my folding bike) at the station in Tegelen (on the edge of Venlo) instead.

11. Though 1930’s houses like this one can be found throughout the country, there’s still something different I can’t put my finger on about the ones around here (a more secretive atmosphere perhaps?)

12. Some more industrial buildings

13. And some more houses in the typical style of the region

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15. The combination of a petrol station and a house like this one is somehow very un-Dutch

16. Approaching the German border with the former customs office on the left

17. Looking back from the German side of the border

18. Tegelen seen across a few German fields

Kaldenkirchen, which unlike some German towns, seems to have quite a lot of older buildings left. Like other towns in the region, these buildings remind me more of Flanders than of Germany or the Netherlands:

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My friend did indeed call to say that he wouldn’t make it, so I cycled back to Tegelen, a destination I had seen in mind. On the road from Tegelen to Belfeld:

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31. The former village hall of Belfeld, which, like Tegelen, is now part of Venlo

I had a flat tire in Belfeld, but a helpful passerby made it possible for me to make it to my destination, this abandoned factory in Reuver, with enough light for a few photos:

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34. Reuver station, from where I took the train back to Liège (via Maastricht)

This entry was posted in Germany, Limburg (Netherlands), North Rhine-Westphalia, The Netherlands

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