zird is the word (lizardek) wrote,
zird is the word

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The place we stayed at in the Netherlands is in a little dangly bit of the country that hangs below the rest of Holland like a pom-pom poodle tail. To the left is Belgium and to the right is Germany and about 3 kilometers up the road from the apartment is the place where the 3 countries come together.

It's called Drielandenpunt, or "3 Country Point" and it has its own website (though not in English), and is located at the top of the highest point in the Netherlands, Mount Vaals. The hill is just over 1000 feet high (322 meters) so even I could manage to climb it, though I admit to some huffing and puffing by the end. Hey, it was HOT out that day. What I didn't know, and I bet you didn't either, is that once upon a time FOUR countries actually met in this area.

Anyway, once you climb up the hill, you find a couple of towers that claim to be the highest points in the country, an older wooden one, and a new and much higher concrete one that is fenced about with barbed wire. The new one was closed for the day due to the windy conditions. The gate guard told Becky's husband, when we all boggled at him in disbelief (it was breezy, okay, but COME ON), that they had to close the tower because small children could get BLOWN OFF.

Um. Okay. You surround the bottom of the tower with fences and gates and barbed wire but it doesn't occur to you to put some kind of safety railing around the top viewing platform?! Think of the tourist dollars going to waste! Duh points for you.

Anyway. There is also a little post right where the borders of the 3 countries come together and the paved circle around it has the border lines marked in green. The post is marked with a B, a D and an NL for each country. Here is Martin in Belgium:

and here is Martin with one foot in Germany, his other foot and his rump in Belgium and his head and hand in the Netherlands:

Karin found a souvenir machine that flattened and imprinted a 50 euro-cent coin with an image of the Drielandenpunt for 1 euro (but which really leaves you out 1.50: actual example of evil genius, to my way of thinking), and then we ate lunch at the tavern by the point. After that we paid to enter the Drielandenpunt Labyrinth and got thoroughly lost and turned about for an enjoyable 40 minutes or so, walking down the twisty beech hedge paths, dodging water fountain barriers and climbing up yet another of the 3 wooden bridges (or the same one 3x, who knows), trying to reach the middle of the labyrinth.

Eventually we were forced to conclude that there actually IS no way to the center from the entrance and when we found the entrance again, by a stroke of luck, we cheated took a shortcut to the exit and went back in the labyrinth from that direction which lo and behold, led us directly to the central tower! Hrm.

Made it to the middle!
Tags: holidaze, obiterphotos
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