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Kessel is a small town about 15 kilometres south of Venlo on the left bank of the river Meuse (Maas in Dutch). In the late middle ages it was an important pont on the road between Cologne and cities in the Netherlands, as this was one of the places where the river Meuse could be crossed. To defend this crossing a castle was built north of this crossing. This happened around 1000 A.D.. Another function was to collect the tolls from ships going up and down the river. In 1312 Kessel was granted city rights, and it was an important town in Limburg, but during the centuries the power dwindled, and of 2010 the town will be part of the new municipality called: Peel en Maas, which also includes the towns of Helden, Maasbree and Meijel.
© All Rights Reserved Herr Bert
The (catholic) south of the Netherlands celebrates carnaval at the beginning of the year. (40 days before Easter). During the days of Carnaval, all the names of the cities and towns get another (a bit loony) name. The party starts at Saturday and ends the following Tuesday. It goes hand in hand with a lot of drinking and dressing up.
Coming from the north you can get to Venlo using the A73 highway. And switch to the N273 near Venlo to reach Kessel. From the south (Maastricht) you can follow the A2, and connect to the N273. Coming from the west you can use the A67, switching to the N277 near Helden.
© All Rights Reserved Herr Bert
The number 77 bus by Veolia connects Venlo and Roermond, on the leftbank of the river. It passes most of the towns there, inclucing Kessel. Line 76 connects Kessel with Helden, and from there it goes to Roermond with a huge detour.
There is no commercial connection to this town, there is only a small cable ferry that connects Kessel to Beesel and Reuver on the other side of the river.
If you have your own boat, you can dock at a small visitors harbour, where there is place for a couple of small boats.
You can get around by car, and parking free, with usually enough parking places available.
The best way to see the town is by foot, as it is not huge.
Going by bike is another excellent way to see the town, the surroundings, and connect to other towns in the neighbourhood. There is a special map for bikers which uses dots. By connecting the dots, you can create your own personal route for the day. This map is available at the tourist information shops throughout Limburg. The network even connects to routes in Belgium and Germany.
A nice restaurant to go to in the center of town is called 'Aan de Ruine' on the dorpstraat. Another one near to the ferry crossing is 'De Rozentuin'.
On the Markt there is a bar called 'de Boesjer' which is the most popular one. In summer it is nice to sit on the terrace either there, or overviewing the Maas, at 'the Boemel'.
Internet cafés are not as widespread as you would expect, but you can easily find one in the popular cities. Most hostels, hotels and camp sites have several computers, so you can keep connected with folk at home. Here is a list of internet cafés that could come in handy for travellers. Otherwise, most libraries have lots of computers and prices are around the €2-3 per hour range, although sometimes it can be even more expensive.
Wireless internet access using wifi is becoming more popular and is usually available at most hotels and increasingly at train stations. Also in trains (at least in most first class wagons, but also more and more in second class) and some buses you can use wifi. Finally, places like McDonald's and Starbucks have free wifi, and smaller individual business like cafés and restaurants are on the rise too offering these services. More often than not, these service tend to be free of charge, though there might be a limited time you can use the internet.
See also: International Telephone Calls
The country code for the Netherlands is 31. The outbound international prefix is 00. The general emergency number is 112, like many other countries.
0800 numbers are toll-free and for 09xx numbers are charged at premium rates. Mobile phones have numbers in the 06 range, and calls to cell phones are also priced at higher rates.
From internet cafés, it is also usually possible to make long distance international calls. Like in other countries, telephone booths have almost disappeared, though some are still found around public transport stations, where you can use a few coins to make calls. It is only recommended for local calls.
The cellular phone network in the Netherlands is GSM 900/1800. The main providers of cell phone networks are KPN (Dutch only), T-mobile and Vodafone, who cover the whole country. Other operators, like Hollandsnieuwe, Simyo or Tele2, use one of these 3 networks basically.
It is best to buy a SIM card when in the Netherlands for use in your cellphone, as this usually works out cheaper than using the one from home. If you are planning to study or work in the country and stay for several months, buying a cellphone is the best option. A simple one, sometimes with €10 worth on it, can be bought from around €25. The simplest smartphones are around €75.
The rate for sending a postcard or letter up to 20 grams within the Netherlands is €0.64 (2014). Since 2010 there are stamps available for domestic post which no longer include the value in €. Instead, there are stamps available with either a '1' or a '2' as a substitute for value. The '1' can be used for letters and postcards up to 20 grams, while 20-50 grams require you to use the '2'-valued stamps (or two '1'-valued stamps of course).
Sending items to other EU countries and the rest of the world (there is one price since 2014) will cost €1.05. Stamps are sold at post offices, supermarkets and smaller shops/kiosks; often the place where you buy your postcards can also supply you with stamps.
Sending parcels abroad is more costly. A standard-sized parcel between up to 2 kilograms will cost you €9 for destinations within the EU and €18 (both without Track & Trace) to the rest of the world. Prices with Track & Trace start at €13 and €24.30 respectively. Parcel service is available from major post offices only; standard-size boxes are on sale there as well. For sending parcels, it might be just as competitive and fast to use a company like TNT, UPS or DHL.
If you need to receive mail while moving around, you can have it sent poste restante (to be called for) to a post office of your choice, where it will be kept for a month. If you come to claim it, bring a valid ID, and make sure to have told the sender that the name on the envelope must be an exact match with that in your passport. For addresses of post offices, as well as more information, consult the TNT website.
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lived here since my birth until in my 20's.
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