When I told her I would be traveling to Europe this winter, she said that I should visit her in the Netherlands.
"I'd love to," I said, "but there's only so much time. I don't know if I'll be able to make it work."
"What if we had a Dutch NaMoPaiMo party?" she asked.
"Oooh!" I exclaimed. "That would be amazing."
"And then we could go riding on the beach."
"Well," I said, "It sounds like I'm going to the Netherlands!"
On Friday, Carol and I got up before dark (which isn't actually that early here!), packed the car and started our journey.
I had imagined a picturesque ramble through the European countryside, but the first part of the drive was unrelentingly industrial.
When we did get to the pretty part, tall guard rails blocked most of the view.
Ditto the rain and fog.
I usually like traveling by car, but this was a pretty dreary slog. I was relieved when we reached our first destination.
Founded by the Romans in 16 BD, Trier is Germany's oldest city. We spent a couple hours exploring the city.
We saw the Port Nigra,
took a selfie with Karl Marx...
and had dinner in a cellar restaurant.
I would have loved to have spent more time in Trier, but instead, it was back in the car. Our castle was awaiting!We spent a luxurious night at the Schloss Lieser (Castle of Lieser) in the Mosel valley nearby Bernkastel-Kue.
We went for a quick walk along the Mosel River in the morning.
Then we put on our NaMoPaiMo shirts and hit the road.
We drove through Belgium, which was beautiful but almost as obscured as Germany.
The sun came out as we crossed the border into the Netherlands.
Is that a Friesian? Why yes, I think it is!
And then finally we were there, and one of the best weekends of my entire life began in earnest.