Castle ruins, impressive caves, châteaus, forests and lots of history reaching back to the Roman time: Valkenburg aan de Geul was a lovely weekend stopover on the way to Tilburg. Also, the weather was superb, the food excellent and last but not least people are extremely friendly. A trip to Maastricht is just 20 minutes away: a vibrant University town, lifely and with an impressive11th-century Basilica in its center. I personally always enjoy the Netherlands coming from Germany. Holland is better managed, more practical, and maintains its character at the same time. There is a lot of effort put into making things neat: the home, the garden, oneself, the car ... and I have often experienced a great sense of community. Cities have a colorful mood, and even I am not a big fan of larger towns, even Amsterdam is a place I feel comfortable, and also Rotterdam has its kind of charm. Tomorrow, I will continue the journey to Tilburg, where I will again stay about a month at the University. It is usually the time, the seasons change from summer to fall, and I am looking forward to my stay there.