Part 20 - Swalmen to Echt
From Swalmen to Echt
Although we had hoped for cooler weather, the predicted weather and temperature for this September day were no different from other scorching days we experienced in August. We had booked a hotel in Sittard and could not postpone our Pieter Path hiking days. With loads of extra water and drinks, we arrived just before 9 am in Swalmen to start our day.
We walked through the Ruhr rift valley with castles, crosses, and churches. Castle Hillenraedt was built in the 14th century and is still owned by descendants of the first residents! The sun showed its power by highlighting the cross we saw in the middle of the forest. We passed 16th and 17th-century castle farm Zuidewijk Spick a few miles further. Romans also lived on or near the Lorberg. Roman coins, a Roman villa, and a Roman graveyard were found here. The beautiful basilica of Wiro, Plechelmus, and Otgerus in Sint Odiliënberg is impressive from quite a distance.
Castle Montfort, built in 1260, is a ruin. In recent years Montfort Castle has been partially rebuilt, and new plans include the restoration of the castle’s cellars and French gardens.