Day Twelve

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Tigres de Voyage

May 22, 2002

Maastricht to Arnhem - Laundry and A Bridge Too Far

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Morning in Maastricht

Laundry and Cappuccino

Drive to Essen, then Eindhoven

To Eindhoven and Arnhem

Dinner in Arnhem at Mediteranee

Day 11 Return to Main Page Day 13


Morning in Maastricht


Dave: This was a day of great laundry sadness for us. Since we did not do laundry in Luxembourg or upon arrival in Maastricht last night, we would be forced to wear previously worn clothes today as  we headed straight for the laundromat we found last night. We got a good jump on the morning, ready to open the place at 8am!

In the morning the Mercure Maastricht seemed even more bizarre, when we realized the hedgerow behind our room didn't just shield us from airport noise but actually abutted the very runway! We learned this last night when a couple of cargo planes landed and taxied around at 2am. When taking pictures of the greenbelt, a small commuter plane landed and the passengers disembarked close enough to make eye contact with me. Hmmm. As we checked out, people that were waiting to greet arriving passengers were crammed around the exterior of the hotel lobby. How very quaint.

We checked out and headed back to Maastricht for the laundromat While passing through Meerssen on the way to the freeway, we almost immediately passed one of the "Wasserij"  we had searched in vain for the previous night. It turned out to be an "industrial laundry", so of no help to us anyway.


The back entrance to our room: Mercure Maastricht

The back of our room, facing the airport taxi area.

Our room: Mercure Maastricht

Our room was fine, just a bit close to the runways.

Hotel Lobby at the Mercure Maastricht

Packing up our Mondial at the Mercure Maastricht

Hotel lobby with airport "poachers".
Jesse packing up our wonderful Ford Mondial!

The back entrance to our room: Mercure Maastricht

Our room is on the left. The hedgerow on the right hides the fence that surrounds the airport runways. 
This is a perfect place to stay for those who consider commercial aviation their hobby.


Laundry and Cappuccino


Landromat in Maastricht

Landromat in Maastricht

The "Wasserij" we found last night.
Dave got us organized while Jesse explored.

Dave: We had found this place the night before (but it was already closed). So we headed right over. It was connected with a restaurant and coffee shop (so you can get a cappuccino along with soap and tokens). We relaxed with warm beverages while the loads ran, then headed out on our way.

The washing directions were first in Dutch, then sometimes in English. Jesse explored for us while I unpacked. He following the directions through the door to the empty and closed attached restaurant. The nice young man greeted us in English and laughed and smiled as he provided change, soap and "Tokens" (actually obsolete Dutch Guilder coins) for the Dryers.

While our wash ran, we joined him for cocoa and cappuccino and breakfast cakes. It was a delight as other shop owners loitered over coffee and everybody that passed the large picture window made a point to peer in and wave.

His dad hovered about, speaking only Dutch, and barking directions about the daily routine to open. Before we left, we took his picture and gave him a web-card so he could come here and read about what a memorable morning he provided for us in tiny Maastricht.

We made a new friend, and had a delightful morning at the shop where everybody is a neighbor.

PS: Having any problem following the washing instructions?

Cappuccino and Laundry in Maastricht

Our host for Cappuccino and Laundry

Cappuccino and Cocoa while the loads ran.
Our new friend (and his dad)

Dutch Washer instructions

Dutch Dryer instructions

Click HERE to read the Washing Machine Instructions.
All instructions were in both English and Dutch


Drive to Aachen, then Eindhoven


Dave: After laundry, we left Maastricht and headed east toward Germany. The weather continued to get worse all day. The rolling countryside and small villages were pretty. Our first stop was the US military cemetery, where we stayed just a few minutes and saw a group of schoolkids on a visit.

We stopped at a couple of Dutch bakeries for supplies and crossed over into Germany within a half hour.


American Military Cemetery just east of Maastricht

American Military Cemetery just east of Maastricht

Dave at a Dutch bakery

Choices at a Dutch bakery

Stopping for lunch supplies
Click HERE to visit A Dutch Bakery with us

We drove around Aachen for only an hour or so, to take pictures of street signs and to look for unique differences. We got caught in a small traffic jam, following a garbage truck thru streets narrowed by construction cones, with cars and trucks double parked or parked on the sidewalks. We drove in circles for about an hour before we headed back north and west toward Eindhoven.

Now entering Germany

A Dutch ATM

Welcome to Germany (Deutschland)
Speed limits (km/h) for town, countryside, and autobahn.
Dutch ATM

Aachen traffic jam

Aachen street directions

Collection box in Aachen

Traffic jam in the curvy streets of tiny Aachen, Germany. This truck parked on the sidewalk was typical for our visit.
In Germany, "Centre Ville" or Centrum" is Zentrum. (It still means downtown). The "Beltway" is the Aussenring.
German Red Cross:
Please bring shoes 
only in pairs, thank you.

Main Rail Station in Aachen

Bakery in Aachen

Haupt-Bahn-Hof is the Main-Rail-Station 
Bakery, Confectionery, Cafe, Garden Terrace


To Eindhoven and Arnhem


Dave: We drove to Eindhoven and traced the "Bridge Too Far" to Nijmegen and Arnhem. There was a light rain and lots of road construction all day, making for an unpleasant and unmemorable journey. We skipped the museums and just took in everyday sights in each town along our way.

Eindhoven was congested in the drizzle, but we still found the soccer stadium for its famous Dutch side. Several stores, including a Toys-R-Us were constructed beneath the stands facing the busy street.

Eindhoven Soccer Stadium

Eindhoven's Soccer Stadium (with Toys R Us)

Einhoven Computer Store

Jesse stopping for Ice Cream

Computerland: Eindhoven's Computerwinkel
We had to stop at this giant ice cream bar

The "Baby Dump" in Eindhoven

We circled back to get this shot of the "Baby-Dump". Notice the easy to park tiny euro-cars.

Arriving in Arnhem in the rain

We finally arrived at the Mercure in Arnhem, wet and exhausted from the grueling drive.

We drove the surface streets from Eindhoven to Nijmegen to Arnhem, in traffic and drizzly rain. Nijmegen pedestrian only shopping district seemed well organized, but caused a horrible bottleneck. We arrived in Arnhem from the south, in bumper-to-bumper rush hour traffic and snaked our way to the north end for our hotel.

Dutch gas pump instructions

Dutch sign at a freeway stop restaurant

The cathedral in Arnhem

Dutch instructions at the gas pump
Dutch sign by a freeway rest stop cafe
Arnhem's Cathedral was repaired
after World War 2

Applebees in Nijmegen

Arriving in Arnhem

An Applebees in Nijmegen, the Netherlands
The current bridge in Arnhem (in the rain)

Arnhem street scene in the rain

Mercure hotel in Arnhem

Pedestrians and cyclists came prepared for rainy weather
We finally arrived cold and tired at the Mercure in Arnhem


Dinner in Arnhem at Mediteranee


Jesse: Our day had been long and difficult, the constant driving and rain had been very draining. It was getting to be dinner time, but we had seen nothing appealing during our casual drive about Arnhem. We were both getting ill, and it looked like fate was about to deliver us to a Quick burger.

Thankfully we stumbled across the Mediteranee, a Turkish-Italian restaurant. We decided it looked suitable enough, and planned on having dinner there if nothing else caught our eye within a few blocks. Unfortunately, Mediteranee proved to be the last possible place for dinner, and we were soon routed on to a bridge and over the river after a series of confusing turns.  We kept our patience as I grew even more carsick, touching down on the other side of the river in a closed-down industrial area. We realized we would find no dinner there, and hopped back on the bridge for another long cruise over the river.

Mediteranee proved to be a far better dinner than we had hoped for. Our hostess (who spoke English) was helpful and friendly, and even listened to our stories of travelling. She helped us with the more complex menu translations, even though it was apparent she had been on her way home for the evening. She was able to leave after we were settled, but not before we got a picture! Our host (who did not speak English) was equally as enjoyable, as we experimented with hand motions and common gestures to convey our thoughts. Both the experience and meal were wonderful.

We left the restaurant more than satisfied, chatting about our cross-language conversation with the man. As we were riding away, I suggested we should go back to take his picture. We gave him a quick camera "click-click" gesture, and he happily obliged us with a pose. Two new friends for the webpage and a delightful dinner to boot.

Mediteranee Restaurant in Arnhem

Dinner was fabulous 

Mediteranee Restaurant in Arnhem

We loved the flavorful meal!

Dave: We were tired from the grueling day, and could not easily find a place to suit our fancy for dinner. Luckily we ran across the Mediteranee (Turkish / Italian) restaurant in our random searching around Arnhem.

We had a delightful dinner, and made two more friends as they delightfully overcame our language problem. While we learned a few dozen words of French for this trip, we did not learn a single word of Dutch or German. But our hosts quickly put us at ease and provided a wonderful conclusion to an otherwise awful day.

We were in the car headed for home when Jesse insisted we return for a picture. I'm glad he did.

Mediteranee Restaurant in Arnhem

The restaurant is in an obscure part of Arnhem, across the river and  near a residential neighborhood

Mediteranee Restaurant in Arnhem

The hostess was heading for home, but stayed to take our order as she spoke English.

Mediteranee Restaurant in Arnhem

Our host was delightful, and we worked out everything with only hand gestures and smiles.

Day 11 Return to Main Page Day 13

Original Web Upload May 2002
Last Update: March 18, 2008