In this video of my motovlog series of The Netherlands, I am exploring Zuid-Limburg. First we go to the highest point in the country: at 322 meters above sea-level, which is situated right at the border with Germany and Belgium.
After that, I explore the ENCI quarry and the underground tunnels of Maastricht. What a fascinating area and who knew that the world famous Rembrandt painting the ‘Night Watch’ was stored in a deep, underground vault during World War II!
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WowGood morning internet!It is 08:15 in the morning and welcome back to the channel!So in the last couple of videosI showed you some of the lowest parts of The Netherlandsso I think it's only appropriate that todayI will take you to the highest point in The NetherlandsSo this iswhere I've been riding in the previous videos but todayI'm taking you all the way down hereto this area which is part of the province LimburgAnd from here to all the way here in Limburgis 200 kilometersSo because it's already 200 kilometers just to get there,I'm just going to take the highway for the first bitand then I'm going to explore some of the backroads of Limburg so let's go!I'm in Germany!I missed the last turnoffand now I'm in GermanyHere: Vaals, The Netherlands. That's where I was trying to go toHere:1 kilometerNiederlandeThat was atiny, unexpectedunplanned detourthrough GermanySo besides the highest point in The Netherlandsthis is actually the border with three countries, soI'm practically walking on the border betweenGermany, Belgium and The NetherlandsIt's a three country border over hereso that means that now I am walking actually inGermany and it's interesting because100 years ago, this was actually a 4 country border pointBecause after the fall of Napoleon in 1815all the borders in Europe had to be re-determinedAnd The Netherlands andGermany were fighting over a part with an important zinc mineboth got a part of it, but the remainderbecame an independent mini-stateof only 11 kilometers bigand that existed for 100 yearsunder the name "Neutral Moresnet"and than later, after World War Ithis part became a part of Belgiumso now there are only three borders remaining: The Netherlands, Germanyand Belgium. So this is the exact point, so now I'm inThe NetherlandsNow I'm in Germanyand BelgiumAlright, that was that.. so some of you already knowthat I studied Geologyand during my degree we also came here, to this part of The Netherlandsto do some fieldwork and studiesbecause there is some interesting Geologyto find down hereso the rest of todays rideI'm going to try and show you some of that geologyand what's so interesting about this place, so .. let's go!Alright, I'm leaving Limaover there nowBecause here I am not allowed toto ride, soIt's about a 600 meter walk and thenhopefully I can show you something coolThis is what I wanted to show youSo all the rock in this area, includingwhat has been mined here in this quarry, is limestoneand this limestone is basically built up bythe skeletons of billions and billions ofmarine organismsbecause 70 million years ago this,was all tropical sea and that's whenall these limestones were depositedAnd so in this area you see an open pitbut they've been mining these limestones in this areaeverywhereand there are more than 250 tunnels, so most of the mininghas been down undergroundAnd the limestone that you see hereis the same type of rock that you find at the White Cliffs of Doverin EnglandAnd they've been mining these limestonesfor 800 years and all of this rockhas been used to built all the castleshouses, monasteries, churchesall of those buildings that are in this areawere made from these limestonesAlright, now you've seen the open pit but I'm also going to take you undergroundthrough the tunnelsbut before I do that, I'm first going to ridethrough Maastricht a little bitand then we go undergroundMaastrichtThis is the famous HelpoortSo since todayyou're allowed again to sit outside andin cafes and barsYou wouldn't think thatwe're still in a corona crisis when you see all of thisThis is such a cool cityand Maastricht is also the home ofworld famous, violin playerAndre Rieu!He's from hereSo this is one of the entrancesone of the many of them, I believeall of them are closed downbut it looks like, somebody actually live here, becauseSo it looks like I'm actually standingin front of somebody's houseSo over time, these tunnelsand caves have served several purposes, people have been living in therepeople have been hiding in there during World War IIbut also criminals are known to have been hiding in the tunnelsbut now most of them are closed to the publicSo I cannot just enter any of themnot over here at leastSee? This is allHere it says: cave houseSo people were just living inside thiscave dug out from the mountain herefrom the rockSo there are several of these cave houseswhich are just dug out of the rock heresuper cooland these were inhabiteduntil 1931Somewhere here.. I can go undergroundYou can take one lightAnd then I go to the farthest point?These are not real caves, these areIt's an old mining system.. as we can see herethis is a manwith a saw to cut the rocks from the wallsThey started to remove these blocks of rocksin the 13th centuryand with these rocks they built the city of MaastrichtThis man here, Saloman, came here on December10, 1941He was on the run for the Germans, he was a Jewso he used this system to reach Belgium20th November 1981, the same manSaloman, came back,40 years laterBecause he made it toBelgium, survived the 2nd World War, came back to Maastrichtand then he asked a local guide to take him down herethey looked for the first inscription from 1941and then he wrote another one, 40 years later in 1981This is the map of the system.. it's a mazeof about 20.000 corridorsIf you all add them together, that's about 200 kilometerswhen they started to use the machines, to dig out the mountainAbout 8 years ago,they removed this part of the system, so everything that's beyond this red linethis is goneThis is the open air quarry that you can visit about2 kilometers on this side.. Here we are at the deepest part of the tunnel systemWe are about 40 meters under the top of the mountainYou can see the ceiling is very high hereEspecially the guards from the National Museumin AmsterdamThey were very scared that they would never see the collection againIf it would leave the countryand so they suggested to the nazisto bring all this art here,in the St Pieters MountainStating that here we are 40 meters under the groundIf there would be any bombings on the top of the mountainthere is nothing happening down hereSo the artworks would be safe hereThe problem is: high humidity, 90% of humidity in the airand only 11 degrees Celsius.. not good for the paintingsSo the nazis told the Dutch Guardsfrom the National MuseumAlright, you can take all the art to Maastrichtbut you have to make sure they will be stored in the best conditionsAnd so the Dutch guards came here to Maastrichtand they built..a very bigvaultwhich is right hereThis is one of theofficial storage place here in the cavesAnd then they installeda kind of air conditioning systemthis oneAnd this was connected with Diesel engines that kept on runningblowing hot air down hereAnd so the whole collection from theNational Museum came down hereAbout 750paintingsWhich were stored over thereWowBut there was one problem, one paintingdidn't fit inside here and that's this one: The Night Watch.. it was too big to fit through the doorso they removed the frameand they rolled it up like thisOne big rollAnd they stored the roll right down hereIt was laying here, the Night WatchBut the problem is, if you keep it like thisit was so heavy that it would get crushed by itselfBecause of the weightAnd therefore one of tasks of the guardswas to turn this verybig roll, every day, a little bitso that the weight would never be on the same spotso every day, they were turning the roll,And that, for three yearsAfter the war, they unrolled it in AmsterdamIt was very scary, because they didn't know how it would look likeand there was nothing wrong with it, it was in perfect conditionWowAnd that's because of this air conditioning systemthe temperature was high here, so they had the best conditions to keep all these paintingsHere in Maastricht, sometimes we have earthquakesand if there is an earthquake, and the mountains moves togetherwho is going to be the first one to go inside the caves?And that's why we have these nails to measureif there is any small differencechange in this measurementthen they know it's unsafe to come here anymoreAlrightand I am back with Limawow, that was such a fascinating tourI didn't expect that at all.. but I thought it was so super interestingand I learned so muchthings that I didn't knowEspecially the vault, with all the paintings and the fact that the Night Watch hadbeen laying there for three yearsjust amazing story, so I'm super happy thatI came hereI thoroughly enjoyed this tour, I thought it was super super coolSo yeah, overall it was a nice dayit was lovely lovely weatherbeautiful ride.. I hardly ever come in this partof The Netherlands, I'm usually always in the westernpart.. it was just really nice to be here todaySo I really enjoyed it.. I hope you liked ittoo, if you did, please give me a big thumbs upand subscribe down below and then I'll see you in the next video!