MAY 17, 2017 BY TAYETMTRAVEL
(Half) Day Trip #3: Three Countries at Once!
Today’s adventure was one that was barely planned–by “barely planned” I mean that it we only knew that we wanted to see the point where the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium intersect–but of course we made an entire afternoon out of it.
This particular spot which makes a wonderful park is called “Drielandenpunt” or “Three countries point”–which is probably the smartest name for a place where three countries intersect, if you ask me. My husband, Cole, got to join me on this little adventure. Our original goal was to go to Aachen, Germany today but at lunch we decided to just hang around the park instead of driving into the city. Let me just say, it was a beautiful day here (sunny and about 75 degrees) to do some trail walking and finding our way through a labyrinth (more on that later). This particular spot in the Netherlands is located in a town named, Vaals–which is about a 30 minute drive from where we live.
Now, if you have ever driven on the Blue Ridge Parkway in the North Carolina mountains you can imagine what I mean when I say the roads were very windy and steep. As we made our way to the highest point in the Netherlands, Vaalserberg (“Mount of Vaals” in English), which stands at roughly 323 meters tall (roughly 1060 ft), we passed a lot of cyclists who decided to endure trying to go up a very large hill on a bike. –Speaking of cyclists, one guy even had a cement block tied onto the back of his bike, I am not sure for what but it was amusing, to say the least. –We passed a hiking parking lot at the base of this giant hill that hikers park at and take the trails up. We did not park here, we kept driving up and we came across Whilhelmina Toren (toren is “tower” in English). A little history: This tower was the first wooden observation tower built on Vaalserberg in 1905. It was named after Queen Whilelmina who ruled over the Netherlands from 1890 until 1948. They have since done some reconstruction and added a skywalk on the top of the tower and a brasserie at the base.
We pulled into the parking lot of this large tower to go up the tower and get some lunch. Going up the tower cost three euros per person and you can either take the stairs up or the elevator up the 35.35 meters to look across mainly Aachen, Germany and Vaals, Netherlands. It was beautiful! Having gone to school in the mountains of North Carolina, I have missed the views from which you can see for miles, this was one of those places. After climbing the stairs and simply pondering over the beauty these countries are, we decided to head down and eat at the brasserie (restaurant). I had two meat kroketten (basically, meat mixed with beef stock, onions, and spices all fried)–one of my favorite meals here–with fries, mayo and a coke, all for less than ten euros.
With full stomachs we were on our way farther up! Cole, had heard about this labyrinth that is right near the border, so of course we had to go through it. It was 5 euros per adult and 4 per child. I don’t know what it is about mazes and labyrinths but I love them! We had so much fun, having our inner child come out while going around this place. There were these grates that would shoot up water that blocked certain pathways. The water would turn off for about ten seconds here and there, but you had to be sure to time it right, or you would get water up your shorts. Cole, was not quick enough one time and got water spraying everywhere! I know it felt good though with such a warm day–it was all good fun!
Lastly, we made our way out of the labyrinth and came across the highest point in the Netherlands (officially) and the point where Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands collide! Quick story: There was this group of about 30 people from Korea (at least that is what it sounded like by the language they were speaking) and ever since we left the labyrinth they were right behind us. So, when we went to take our lovely selfie at the point where all of the flags are for each country, we were being swarmed by people who were also taking pictures of themselves. I am pretty sure we are in the background of some of those people photos. Oh well! After such an adventure we were ready to go home and play with our puppies for a little bit, we walked back to our car and headed home.
Heads up: there are at least 4 restaurants on Vaalserberg and parking is free!
Until next time, adventure awaits!
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.