Eindhoven -- Maastricht
We got our rental car at Schiphol airport and drove to Eindhoven as our first stop in our Europe trip. I wanted to show Woanyu this town as I had visited and stayed in Eindhoven several times for my business trips in the past few years. In 1891, brothers Gerard and Anton Philips founded the small light bulb factory in Eindhoven that would grow into one of the largest electronics firms in the world. Philips' presence is probably the largest single contributing factor to the major growth of Eindhoven in the 20th century. It attracted and spun off many hi-tech companies, making Eindhoven a major technology and industrial hub.
We had a quick stop in Maastricht to have a coffee break (as jet lag has
started to kick in...). It started to rain so we did not walk too far
around the city center.
Kasteel Wittem began life as a stone tower built along a stream in the 11th century. Its first owners were a Liègeois family with the name of De Julemont. They added protective walls and six more towers, but only one of these towers survives today. The castle found new purpose as a hotel in 1958, but closed down in 2009. In 2011, the castle was renovated and reopened under its new owners. Although it was raining hard when we had dinner at the patio outdoors, the nice food and surroundings (and the warm heater) made our first dinner of the trip an unforgettable experience.
We woke up early in the next morning and enjoyed the first sunrise in the parkland around the castle.
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