A dip into the Netherlands and France

We’re on the last leg of our journey – and have dipped into the Netherlands and France before returning to Germany and then home to the southern latitudes.

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Maastricht in the Netherlands is a beautiful old city with lots of places to wander and enjoy the history and culture. This pano taken across the River Maas probably doesn’t do it justice – but the day was a bit bleak! A city for leisurely coffee, good food and drink and of course Andre Rieu who had just completed a set of concerts in the main town square.


During this leg through the part of Europe where Belgium, The Netherlands and France meet those interested in military history were able to see and appreciate the strategy (and possibly lack of it) behind some of the battles which took place in this very strategic area during the second world war.

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Unfortunately battles mean casualties and there are two American world war two memorials and cemeteries relatively close to each  other – as usual beautifully maintained and hauntingly sad with their rows of white crosses. This is not to forget the civilian and German casualties  which also have their own memorials.

US War mem

Like most visitors to Europe we have visited many churches. Some huge cathedrals and other simple smaller chuches. Here is a small sample from this part of the world. The old stained glass is stunning. Some has not survived war and destruction and has been replaced by simple glass or a simple pattern. The top and bottom images in this photo are taken in the Beautiful cathedral of St Stephen in Metz, France.


Metz is on the confluence of the Moselle and Seille Rivers and is an historic garrison town which has a large pedestrian precinct which includes the cathedral and market areas. I found it a very attractive city – especially on an early morning walk…

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and in the market…


While we’ve been away the grain crops have ripened and the fields have changed from patchwork with more green than yellow to the reverse and now the harvest and hay making is well underway in this part of Europe.


To finish this post another pano of Maastricht … still looking slightly bleak with rain in the offing!

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