After the trip to the Caves, we explored the local town.
Some of the local delights
The Velvet Caves
Underneath the ruins of Valkenburg Castle is a labyrinth of caves and high ceilinged passageways, known as the Velvet Caves. We were surprised to discover that these are entirely man made, first mined by the Romans and then later in the 12th century when marlstone was exploited there. The marlstone was used to build the castle and other buildings. With one end being inside and the other outside the castle, it also has been a good escape route for the knights. It also served as refuge during WWII for locals, Jews and Americans.
Inside there are murals, wall sculptures and in the centre a church used by refugee priests.
The guide had an oil lamp and there were only few lamps in the cave. Our guide left us without light for a few minutes to demonstrate how dark it is. He then scared us with the sad tale of two boys who went in there unguided and without telling anyone....they were found dead weeks later.
Downtime at the Hotel