Tony had spent quite a bit of time preparing the roads we were to use to get to Nijmegen. We were going to go to a couple of little villages on the way (Waardenburg & Neerijnen, farming villages, each with a castle). Some of Tony's forefathers lived in these villages, with one working as the head gardener at the Castle which still has a moat around it & is now used as the local Town Hall - where most of the local government business happens. After exploring these great places we then drove onto Nijmegen. These two villages were beautiful - they were so clean & attractive with such a gentle pace to life. The main shops such as a butchers, fruit & vegie & clothing shop were not altogether in a Main Street but rather spread out & you happened upon them as you drove around.
The drive took us straight into Nijmegen & then became the road that our Hotel 'Blue' was on. Again the beauty struck us in the architecture & feel to the city. You felt you were in the midst of a place of order & beauty. We took our things into the Hotel which was quite different & lovely. It was an old building but again modern renovations. The complex spread through 3 -4 buildings. We had Dinner & Breakfast in the building 2 doors down. The weather was perfect for us to go walking & exploring. We discovered the old part of the city very quickly & gained quite a bit of history. Ambled back to the Hotel to get ready for Dinner. One thing we noticed was how many dress to go out for dinner whether mid-week or the w/end. We also witnessed a lot more gentle intimacy between couples & families. Dinner was delicious & as the weather was perfect we were seated outside. The sun doesn't go down till nearly 10 o'clock so it is surprising how long the day stretches out & how much you can do.
After breakfast we drove off on our way to Huissen a little village on the edge of the Rhine - quite close to the German border. We were able to drove down to the Rhine at a point where a tug /barge spent its day being driven back & forth from one side to the other purposely allowing people to drive their cars onto the tug/barge to be taken to the other side. The Tug was weighted by 3 other boat-size floats being kept moored in the middle of the Rhine. It was exciting to see all that was happening as it seemed to be the spot where Tony's Dad's great, great,great grandfather had managed the waterways of the Rhine around that point. After this we drove into the village itself. Within 10 minutes we had parked & Tony had stepped into the Museum (amazing timing as it was only open on a Friday from 10-12pm) Tony stepped in around 10.30 & the lady showing people around was so happy when Tony explained what he was looking for & showed her what information he had .... well away they went ... for an hour while I went doing my own exploring. When we met up again Tony had been well rewarded & found information that now allows him to continue the search of the very first Schneider in the family line back to Berlin ... how exciting now to see what will unfold.
After all this we were to head home (Leiden) to our Houseboat ... we were back in time to drop our car off, for Tony to do his writing up & I went off to explore a few places I hadn't managed to get to before we had left on Thursday morning: we're never too late to fit more in - we showered & walked back into town for Dinner at 8pm - it was a balmy night & so many were out for dinner...... home late after a fun night.
In the first village..
Walking in the first village.
Constantly lovely scenes.
The village church.
Little farm houses on the walk.
The first castle ...
What a social room for the students ... inside the castle ..
As we turned to walk away down the driveway from the castle -Tony looked up & saw a stork had made his nest high up on the top of a chopped tree trunk ...
The 2nd Castle with the Moat still around it ..just so picturesque ...this is the one where Jan Schneider Opa's great great grandfather was the head gardener ...
Gardens near the castle ..
The foyer of the Hotel that had this coffee area ..
This is the little cocktail bar & the picture in the wall is made of lots of little tiles. With the Hotel called 'Blue' this is the theme through out including sea life ..
The Hotel was aglow as we walked back after dinner. We both loved the atmosphere of this little place as I mentioned it was old but so beautifully restored tastefully & creatively.
The start of our walk saw a roman walkway overhead - we went to explore ..
It joined onto this Castle very high up in Nijmegen looks out to Germany.
This lovely old building was part of a fortress.
The remains of an extremely old church ..
Part of the old town square.
Looking through the archways to the Cathedral where we could hear the organ being played .
These Cathedrals really are amazing feats - we think the pyramids are but these too have taken up to 150 years to build with such craft & skilled workmanship & not the technology of today.
What a gorgeous start to the day to be having breakfast in such a light filled room with the theme of shells along the walls ..
My dear man ... a wonderful companion on this journey & the one who has made this all possible.
Working boats moored on the Rhine ..
The barge that was taking cars, trucks etc to & from each side of the river.
This is where George Schneider was in charge of the water ways of the Rhine River many years ago. This is also where the cruise boats go down on the trips from Amsterdam to Budapest ...
The beatiful gardens as the climate is perfect