August 2021 Bike Holiday – Day 2

By Ruben
This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series August 2021 Bike Holiday
1. Wasserburg Rindern, Kleve
I had a good night’s sleep at Wasserburg Rindern, which apart from a hotel, is a school for adult education belonging to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Münster. I thought the staff were friendly and the rooms comfortable
2. Joseph-Beuys-Allee, Kleve
Leaving Wasserburg Rindern (which occupies a site that has been in use since Roman times), I hadn’t noticed this stately avenue when I arrived the previous evening
3. Joseph-Beuys-Allee, Kleve
It is crossed by the Draisinebahn to Kranenburg and Groesbeek, just over the border in the Netherlands (a draisine is a kind of railway vehicle that is operated by hand)
4. Tiergartenstrasse, Kleve
The avenue on the last pictures leads to ‘Museum Kurhaus Kleve’, an art museum housed in a former spa called ‘Bad Cleve’
5. Tiergartenstrasse, Kleve
The road into Kleve, a town that was once important enough to have a name in 5 other languages. It gave one of them to Anne of Cleves, who was briefly the Queen of England as the fourth wife of Henry VIII. Of the other names, I think the Dutch ‘Kleef’ is probably the only one anyone still uses today
6. Tiergartenstrasse, Kleve
7. Klever Ring, Kleve
Schwanenburg castle seen from the ring road (which I took to go to a Kaufland supermarket to buy breakfast)
8. Flutstrasse, Kleve
A Chinese restaurant on the industrial estate Kaufland is on
9. Minoritenstrasse, Kleve
I had been to Kleve before, but that time, I only showed you the pretty bit. As a whole, the centre of Kleve is not very pretty, and much of it seems to be in use as a car park. There’s not much to remind you that this is actually a town with 2,000 years of history. This is not surprising though, as 90% of Kleve was “severely damaged” during WWII (General Brian Horrocks, who gave the order for the bombing of Kleve, said he had “an awful lot of nightmares, but always Cleves”). Sadly, this is so normal in Germany (and especially this part of Germany) that it’s more worth telling you when a town wasn’t destroyed in WWII
10. Minoritenstrasse, Kleve
Nonetheless, having lived in Germany for a while, I have come to appreciate the way it was rebuilt and the country it became. It’s really not a bad place once you look past the functional architecture. The atmosphere in Kleve seemed friendly and the people who live there seem to like it. And they have at least one good Vietnamese restaurant
11. Minoritenstrasse, Kleve
Somehow, the lack of beauty also makes you really appreciate the little bits of beauty you do find
12. Kavarinerstrasse, Kleve
The beginning of Kleve’s high street
12. Kavarinerstrasse, Kleve
The path up to Schwanenburg Castle, where I went on my previous visit
13. Kavarinerstrasse, Kleve
15. Lohstätte, Kleve
Schwanenburg castle, as you can see, they didn’t really do their best to recreate its historical setting
16. Wasserstrasse, Kleve
Though the view gets better as you approach the castle, …
17. Königsgarten, Kleve
… or look at it from the other side
18. Wasserstrasse, Kleve
I can’t find any information on what the connection is between Kleve and Worcester is, but there’s also a panel here with historical facts about the two cities
19. Klever Ring, Kleve
Leaving Kleve by a bit of a detour, you can just see the castle in the distance (Kleve’s skyline is more impressive in reality)
20. Gocher Landstrasse
I headed south from Kleve, on a road through slightly hilly country
21. Klever Strasse
22. Feldstrasse, Goch
Riding into Goch (population: 34,000)
23. Feldstrasse, Goch
24. Feldstrasse, Goch
25. Feldstrasse, Goch
26. Balfourweg, Goch
The Steintor – one of a few historic buildings in the centre of Goch
27. Markt, Goch
The main square – both the architecture and the parked cars are starting to remind me of Flanders
28. Markt, Goch
29. Marienwasserstrasse, Goch
Many of the older houses in this region look similar to those in the southern Netherlands and northern Belgium (the Dutch border is just 5 km from Goch)
30. Weezer Strasse, Goch
This was also not the first time I had been in Goch
31. Weezer Strasse, Goch
I had also cycled down this tree-lined street (Weezer Strasse) late at night on ridiculously long bike ride in August 2010
32. Weezer Strasse, Goch
I thought it would take me in the direction of Weeze, but it turned out to be a dead end (I then proceeded to pass by the same places a few times before finding the actual road to Weeze)
33. Weezer Strasse, Goch
This time I got to the same place before I realised I’d again made the mistake of thinking Weezer Strasse would go to Weeze. But now I had Google maps and the opportunity to ask someone, and it wasn’t difficult
34. Südstrasse, Goch
Down this very Belgian looking street, …
35. Südstrasse, Goch
36. Südstrasse, Goch
… across the railay, …
37. Gocher Strasse
… and it wasn’t long before I was on the road again, now through a flatter landscape with a lot of agriculture
38. Gocher Strasse
39. Gocher Strasse
The river Niers and the town of Weeze (which is most famous for Weeze Airport), which I didn’t visit despite my search for the road to it
40. Amsterdamer Strasse, Kevelaer
Because the the reason I decided on this route in the first place was the next town, Kevelaer. I remembered it as a very nice little town from my 2010 late-night bike ride, and wanted to see if my memory was correct. And it was!
41. Amsterdamer Strasse, Kevelaer
It’s worth mentioning now that (unlike Kleve and Goch) Kevelaer seems to have survived WWII mostly intact
42. Kappellenplaz, Kevelaer
Kevelaer is centred on Kapellenplatz
43. Kappellenplaz, Kevelaer
These pictures don’t do it much justice, because it has to be one of the nicest small-town squares I’ve seen anywhere
44. Kappellenplaz, Kevelaer
45. Kappellenplaz, Kevelaer
46. Kappellenplaz, Kevelaer
The chapel (‘Kapel’) in the middle of the square has been a place of pilgrimage since the middle ages. It was an especially important place for Catholics from the protestant Netherlands in the time that there was no religious freedom there
47. Kappellenplaz, Kevelaer
48. Kappellenplaz, Kevelaer
49. Kappellenplaz, Kevelaer
50. Kappellenplaz, Kevelaer
The Marienbasilika
51. Kappellenplaz, Kevelaer
52. Kappellenplaz, Kevelaer
53. Kappellenplaz, Kevelaer
54. Kappellenplaz, Kevelaer
55. Marktplatz, Kevelaer
The old Rathaus (city hall)
56. Marktstrasse, Kevelaer
Haus Stassen
57. Am Bahnhof
A signal box with a shop in it
58. Am Bahnhof
59. Antoniusstrasse, Kevelaer
Another street of nice houses
60. Velder Dyck
Countryside south of Kevelaer. I was heading for Geldern, which is noteable for having given it’s name to the Duchy of Gelre – and thus the current Dutch province of Gelderland
61. Kevelaer Strasse
But the road was closed so, I headed straight for Straelen (which I hadn’t planned on visiting)
62. Kevelaer Strasse
63. Kevelaer Strasse
64. Gelderner Strasse, Straelen
Straelen (who’s 16,000 inhabitants seemed to be mostly over 65) turned out to be quite a nice little town as well, and I can’t find any mention of it having been destroyed in WWII either. It was probably a better choice than Geldern, 85% of which was
65. Markt, Straelen
(where there actually was a market at the time)
66. Markt, Straelen
67. Mühlenstrasse, Straelen
68. Westwall, Straelen
Straelen reminded me of Belgium a lot
69. Westwall, Straelen
70. Westwall, Straelen
The architecture may be similar across the border in the Netherlands (where I was heading), …
71. Venloer Strasse, Straelen
…but combined with the general layout of things, Straelen could almost have been in the middle of Belgium
72. Venloer Strasse, Straelen
Except for the occasional German-looking villa
73. Dammerbrucher Strasse
74. Dammerbrucher Strasse
75. Dammerbrucher Strasse
The now abandoned customs buildings
76. Dammerbrucher Strasse
Since I moved back to the Netherlands, I have come to appreciate how colourful everything is compared to in the countries that surround it. I noticed this right away when I crossed the border, and not just because the weather was getting better (which it was)
77. Weselseweg
Though I have to add that this is the only place I’ve been where the bike path gets a bit less good on the Dutch side of the border
78. Straelseweg, Venlo
A very catholic building on the outskirts of Venlo
79. Straelseweg, Venlo
As you can see, the architecture here is similar to the architecture just over the border in Germany (just compare this to photo 29)
80. Straelseweg, Venlo
Venlo (population: 68,000) is the third largest city in the Limburg, a province which most Dutch people consider the “least Dutch” part of the Netherlands. And indeed, having cycled 170 km to get here, it was still like I was abroad
81. Straelseweg, Venlo
Some art-nouveau houses
82. Straelseweg, Venlo
83. Sint Martinusstraat, Venlo
84. Sint Martinusstraat, Venlo
But Venlo is in the Netherlands, and you can see it by the excellent public space. Having lived in both neighbouring countries, I have also really come to appreciate this (though it is not bad in Germany either, the Netherlands has by far the most people-friendly cities)
85. Grote Kerkstraat, Venlo
You have to consider that Venlo was also bombed in WWII (though probably not as badly as Kleve) and that it’s not a city with a particularly good reputation in the Netherlands
86. Grote Kerkstraat, Venlo
But it still looks this nice
87. Peperstraat, Venlo
The town hall
88. Maaskade, Venlo
The Maas river
89. Maaskade, Venlo
In recent years, it has become fashionable in the Netherlands to build new buildings in a semi-tradional style. I really like this, and think it’s a great improvement on what they were building when I left the country in 2008
90. Maaskade, Venlo
The riverfront
91. Venloseweg, Tegelen
Venlo is one of the few post-industrial agglomerations in the Netherlands, and the road to Tegelen is lined with worker’s houses
92. Venloseweg, Tegelen
93. Grotestraat, Tegelen
94. Grotestraat, Tegelen
I had to cross the street to make a picture of this interesting art-deco building built for ‘Hekkens Iron Foundries’
95. Grotestraat, Tegelen
96. Roermondseweg, Tegelen
Like in other post-industrial areas, there’s also some urban decay here (this is very uncommon in the Netherlands)
97. Rijksweg Zuid, Belfeld
Leaving Belfeld, a place I have shown you before
98. Rijksweg Zuid, Belfeld
The Meuse
99. Rijksweg, Reuver
100. Rijksweg
101. Rijksweg Noord, Swalmen
Swalmen is another place I have shown you before
102. Rijksweg Zuid, Swalmen
103. Venloseweg, Roermond
Crossing the railway from Amsterdam to Maastricht
104. Godsweerdersingel
Roermond is also a pretty nice town
105. Veldstraat, Roermond
I would also say it’s one of the most Belgian-looking of Dutch towns
106. Veldstraat, Roermond
107. Markt, Roermond
108. Markt, Roermond
The Cathedral of Saint Christopher (one of two large churches in the centre of Roermond
109. Roerkade, Roermond
Roermond means ‘Roer Mouth’, and the Roer river (Rur in German, but not to be confused with the Ruhr) flows into the Meuse in Roermond
110. Roerkade, Roermond
111. Maastrichterweg, Roermond
Roundabouts are starting to be a theme on this trip as well
112. Maastrichterweg, Roermond
The first Chinese restaurant I took a picture of since Kleve (and the sixth on this trip)
113. Rijksweg
It wasn’t the reason I made this picture, but I can now show you that they put the names of places in both Dutch and the local dialect of Limburgs on signs
114. Rijksweg
The actual reason I made the last picture is the same as why I made this one: I like making pictures like this
115. Rijksweg
You know you’re getting close to Belgium when you start to see road-side brothels
116. Rijksweg
117. Rijksweg
118. Rijksweg
Another roadside brothel, this one named after Amsterdam’s famous red-light district
119. Kloosterstraat, Maasbracht
120. Hoofdstraat, Maasbracht
A roundabout and a Chinese restaurant in Maasbracht
121. Hoofdstraat, Maasbracht
122. Schuttersweg, Stevensweert
Crossing a branch of the Meuse shortly before arriving at my airbnb in Stevensweert, which I will show you in my next post, when my trip took me into Belgium
Series Navigation<< August 2021 Bike Holiday – Day 1August 2021 Bike Holiday – Day 3 >>

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

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