Friday, 13 April 2007
Well, probably many might not know where exactly in Holland we reside. On the bigger picture, we live here (green arrow) in Sittard within the Limburg province, which is the most southern part of The Netherlands (Holland is actually one of the region in The Netherlands)
Limburg's capital is Maastricht (many probably heard of Maastricht Treaty in 1992 - a famous European treaty that led to the creation of European Union and the Euro currency). Sittard is some 20km north of Maastricht. We would have like to live in Maastricht but the price of the houses there are 30% more expensive. Having said that, it does not mean that Sittard is not that kampung (haha..). Currently, there are about 50,000 inhabitants and historically it was first mentioned in the year 1157. Great part of Sittard was destroyed during the Franco-Dutch war in 1677 but has been part of the Netherlands since 1814, except 1830-1839 when it joined the Belgian Revolution (well, geographically, it is near both Belgium and Germany, so Sittard was the likely target for strongholds during those years).
Geographically, we are actually closer to Brussels (Belgium), Dusseldorf & Cologne (Germany) and Eindhoven (The Netherlands) - all within 1 hr drive compared to Amsterdam, which is 2.5 hrs drive away to the north. Luxembourg is 2 hrs away south, Paris is 3.5 hours south east, Berlin 6 hours, Zurich 8 hours, Copenhagen 9 hours and even Milan is about 10 hours drive. It is quite strategically located at the central of Europe. We are planning to drive to the UK in the summer, which will take about 7 hours to Birmingham. The Channel Tunnel is about 35 mins crossing by Eurotunnel train.
So, basically we could actually be in 3 countries within 20 mins. And no, there are no immigration check points between these countries which are part of EU (you normally enter Belgium or Germany at 120km/hr...). UK still do though....
autobahn = motorway (and that's German!)
(in Germany, you can drive as fast as you want at certain part of the autobahn, yes, there are no speed limit. And on average, the ones that go very fast (above 160km/hr) are typically NOT Mercedes nor BMW but the cool Audi and VW.....I however, was warned by my wife not to exceed 130km/hr with our big-long-family-stationwagon Opel.....hmmm....)