Today was a pretty laid back day…. although it turned to be a very beautiful day weather wise. It never really rained and the sky was mostly blue with a lot of puffy clouds. We started the day by touring some different parts of the city. As I mentioned before, Maastricht lies on the Maas River so we went to the other side of the river to discover a less touristy area. We were able to cross over the St. Servaas Bridge which is a stone bridge and dates back to 1298 making it the oldest bridge in The Netherlands. We visited St. Maartens church and then came back to the central area of Maastrict. Here are some pictures:
As you can tell from the picture above, the city was filled with people today. Most of the stores opened late, however….. usually noon or 1pm. I guess the folks from Maastricht want to extend the weekend as long as possible.
The day turned out great because we didn’t have any schedules to follow and the weather was perfect. We did a lot of cafe hopping going from square to square. It turns out that there are a lot of open areas to catch a cup of coffee or have a beer – and of course, people watch. We did it all and had a great afternoon. We ended the day by having dinner in one of the local brasseries. A very nice way to end our stay in Maastricht.
Tomorrow we’re off to Belgium and we’ll see what adventures we can experience along the way.
We left Honfleur this morning and drove the 4 1/2 hours to Maastricht – most of it via the autoroute and a lot of it with tolls attached. All in all, it worked out great but still a lengthy drive. As we approached Maastricht, the rain came down in such torrents that I was forced to drive at about 20-30 miles per hour…. it was torrential. As we got into Maastricht, the rain stopped and Marie was able to get us right to the hotel – I finally figured out how to input not just a city but an address as well. Remember, Marie only understands French.
Maastricht is a very pretty city that sits on the banks of the Maas river. It’s a very old city and one filled with cobble stone streets. Here are a few pictures of the Town Hall and St. Stefaan Basilica:
The hotel is a very interesting hotel. It’s located in a previous monastery that dates back several centuries and was updated as a very trendy hotel. It’s a strange combination of ancient and ultra modern at the same time. It’s a very nice hotel with all of the necessary amenities but still has a very peculiar identify…. Rich and I really like it.
I hope the fresco is not visible at night…. it might scare me!
We wanted something different for dinner tonight so we went to an Italian restaurant called Il Giardino. The Italian owner served us and gave a very special treatment for some reason. We had a great meal and the ambience was intense and with a lot of good vibes – a very strange mixture of Dutch and Italian… who would have guessed….
Not sure what tomorrow will bring but that’s all for tonight.