The Tiel Loop
Tiel Travel Blog› entry 1080 of 1090 › view all entries
Since I have been back in NL I have complained about the weather almost daily. This weekend the weather forecast was slightly optimistic. We would even see some rays of sun, they said.
Stephan, with whom I have hiked a lot in the US during vacations, invited me over to his home town, the city of Tiel, for a local hike. The Tiel Loop.
Tiel is one of the oldest cities in the Netherlands. Its history dates back to around 850 - 1100. It used to be an important trade city and thus suffered from Viking attacks. In more recent history the city suffered from fights between the Germans and the Allied forces. This caused a lot of damage to the historic downtown area.
A famous mascot for the city is "Flipje", a raspberry like puppet, which became iconic for the (once) locally produced fruit jams.
The Tiel Loop (Rondje Tiel) is a 20-kilometer (12.4-mile) hike around the city and through some of its picturesque neighboring hamlets. We managed to beef the distance up to 27 kilometers (16.9 miles). The hike has it all: historic, picturesque, industrial, rural, modern, urban, etc.
Some highlights in the hike:
- The centuries old St. Maartens Church. It dates back to the 10th century. Has been partly demolished and rebuilt or expanded and scaled down. 10 times in a row. It was subject to a lot of damage during the Second World War. But has been mostly restored.
- The old market and the Watergate (which has nothing to do with Nixon by the way) in historic downtown.
- The Prince Bernhard Locks. These huge locks date back to 1952 / 1974 and are the gateway to the Amsterdam - Rhine Canal. The locks negotiate a water level of about 3.5 meters (11 ft). About 35,000 ships pas every year.
- The industrial area in the North East. Not pretty but interesting with an abandoned railroad track, creepy graffiti under the highway and train bridges.
- Rural scenery and orchards near the hamlet of Zoelen which is also the home of Zoelen Castle. This castle dates back to the year of 1263. This is, however, not the castle which we know today since it was destroyed in 1355. It is the rebuilt version that we still see nowadays. The lands of the castle are open to the public. The castle, however, is still privately owned.
- The first blossom of the year! In an orchard at the castle grounds we spotted one tree which was already bearing blossom flowers. Amazing, this early in the season!
The sun set faster than we anticipated so we skipped the Passewaaij Wetlands and headed to the old market for a nice Vietnamese post-hike meal.
More pictures below.