Sunday, July 15, 2007

Greetings from hot Heerlen!

It was 30 C here today! I asked our host if there was any sort of middle temperature around here, and he said no! Robert is enjoying the heat but you can imagine what I think of it! Today we took 3 trains to Sevenum.
KAREN, you asked about train passes. We bought ours from our BCAA travel agent back home, as you can't get them here. You can buy seperate tickets but it's expensive. We are traveling all over by train so it's cheaper for us to by the EurRail pass. It was nearly $3,000.00 total for all 3 of us. That includes 8 days of travel in Europe, and 8 days of travel in the UK. You can go anywhere on a day's stamp within a 24 hour period. The first time you use it, you must get it verified by the station agent. After that you initial each day yourself. Sometimes a conductor or agent comes and checks if you have a ticket and sometimes they don't. I was surprised at that. We were only checked for our bus tickets once.
It's 9:09 pm here and the sun is setting behind me, as I look out on the tiny wild flower garden in the back. I'd dearly love to live here. I can highly recommend this B & B! It's called Guesthouse #16 in Heerlen. It's wonderful.I love the old sitting room I'm in. A clock is softly ticking.The traffic in the front is quite loud but stops around midnight.
Today we met our distant cousins, Leo and Pia Guerts. Leo has done a lot of research on the Houben family, back to the 1500's. He works in the archives in Sevenum. They picked us up at the tiny train station, and we went to their house for a delicious Dutch lunch. We visited together and then he drove us into the countryside to see 4 old houses that Robert's relatives used to live in. That was neat! We stopped for ice cream before he took us to the train station again. We had to leave early to visit another aunt, but the trains were so HOT (some had no a/c) that we didn't meet her because to get to her we had to take a hot bus and I refused as I was way too HOT. We washed up at our room and went to the same Chinese restaurant that Aunt Jo had taken us to the first night. It was good food and we walked to a little ice cream place close by and sat in the air conditioned room and enjoyed good Dutch ice cream. I normally don't like ice cream, but you have to taste Dutch! Mmmmm....


Write 2 The Point said...

Loretta! I can't thank you enough for getting me this information! I forwarded everything to Sean so he can be prepared when he goes over there. Those prices are high, but I suppose much cheaper than renting a car.

Your trip sounds heavenly and I am so happy you are having such a good time. You asked about where everyone is, wanted to tell you that Linda is off on an excursion to Harrison resort, or something with a name like that for a few days. She and Pepa took dakotah with them, so should be a lot of fun. she laughed when she told me how much she packed for only 4 days---you are our packing idol! BUT, the big question is.........are you getting sick of your wardrobe yet? Will you throw away your clothes before you return home? LOL Have a lovely day--and while you may not miss home, I sure miss you!

Patty157 said...

Dear Loretta,
How random this is. I am a Houben who has been researching my father's family. They immigrated to Michigan in 1920. My family and I are traveling to the Netherlands this month. I was researching Sevenum and Houbens and found your blog. Do you know the address of the archives in Sevenum? We will be staying in Amsterdam and taking the train to Sevenum for the day.
I can't wait to go "home" to my Dutch roots.
Patty Houben Langgle

Loretta said...

Hi Patty! You didn't leave an email address for me to reach you, so I'll try leaving a comment here and hope you see it. That is interesting about your family; maybe we are related! I don't know the address for the archives. We didn't visit the archives as we had no time. If you Google it you might find it. I hope you have a great visit!

Patty157 said...

Hi Loretta,
I'm sure we are related because I am related to Leo Geurts. I have come across his research on the Houben Family from Sevenum. I am working on a Houben family tree on I enjoyed your blog of your trip in 2007. It gave me good advice for our trip. I hope we can do Maastricht and Sevenum in one day. Thanks for responding!