Published on May 20, 2014, by Jackie in Netherlands Life.

Last week, I had to take an alternate route home, and I came across a sign for fresh asparagus and strawberries. Since we didn’t get any white asparagus last season, John and I thought it might be a fun Saturday to check out the stand.

It took me a while to retrace my route, so we pulled up to the asparagus stand just as the farmer was packing up his trailer. A little bummed that we had missed our opportunity, we were surprised to find out that Farmer Swinkels was more than willing to chat about his business. Even better, he has an asparagus vending machine (automaat) that’s open 24 hours a day! After stocking up on peeled asparagus and fresh berries, John and I decided to go in search of the hiking trails I pass on my way to work. That’s when we found little hexagonal signs for the ‘Peel en Maas route’.

We knew that the ANWB is the Dutch version of AAA, so we decided to follow the signs and see where they would take us. Turns out they mark a round-trip journey through 109 km of farmland and forests! We also found a 42 km long network of walking trails. We decided to keep driving, but we’ve put hiking in ‘Stempel van de Maas’ on our bucket list for later this summer.

The rest of our ‘Peel en Maas’ route had several treasures in store for us, including a garden market, a chicken farm with an automaat full of free range eggs, and a zoo. John even found a The Longhorn Steakhouse down the road from some really angry sheep! All in all, it was an extremely relaxing Saturday.