Arcen and a flying visit to Remscheid

Two days ago we jumped ship and paid a flying visit to our good friends Mareike, Josine und Hartmut.

From Venlo in the Netherlands it is only an hour and a half drive to my home town in Germany - a great opportunity to catch up and see Josine before she returns to her home in Mexico next week. 

Austin was a little upset when given a Mercedes Smart Car by the hire company, which made competing on the autobahn impossible. But he was quickly appeased by the delicious lunch Mareike had prepared. Catching up was great fun and we talked like we had only seen each other yesterday!

Unfortunately we weren’t able to see other friends as we had to return to Venlo on the same day. 

Multilingual Mareike and Josine told us that “Arcen”, which we intended to visit the next day, is pronounced “Arson”. Yet it has nothing to do with lighting fires or someones "backside”. 

Arcen is a wonderful Dutch village on the Maas. Unfortunately it is forbidden to stay in the small harbour overnight.

So we just stopped for a few hours on our way to Gennep to explore the well known castle gardens. Extending for 80 acres behind the 18th century castle each section of garden has a theme. There is a beautifully landscaped rose garden, an oriental, an Italian and butterfly garden and many more. It reminded a little of the Hunter Valley Gardens in NSW. The park is full of twittering birds, ducks and grebes. Local storks and foreign flamingos can also be found.

The castle itself houses a Steinway pianola and some wonderful furniture and paintings.

Have a look at the armors! There are two mini ones for the duke’s dogs!

We also visited the nearby Mill which still grinds the wheat and distills the Jenever, Dutch Gin! It was too early for a G & T, so we tried the very tasty, Arcen brewed " Hertog Jan” beer instead.

Don’t worry, we only had 1 glass with our lunch at the Mill and made it safely to Gennep where we were welcomed by a super friendly harbour master.


© Austin Robinson 2019