The end of summer has always been my favourite time to travel. A lot less of us tourists are wandering the streets, the locals have returned from their own summer holidays and with their return the local culture bursts to life! There is nothing better than experiencing a city, country or village with the actual local people there.
I found myself in the city of Maastricht last weekend. Of late I’d been having this strange pull to go there and a week ago I decided to just follow my heart. As always I scoured my plentiful apps on the best deals I could come by since I hadn’t been travelling in a while. For transportation, I decided on Flixbus and for accommodation, my booking.com genius points afforded me a room at easyhotel (actual name of the hotel). Once I had settled on these important aspects of my travel the rest was very easy to organize.
Travelling to Maastricht from my new home in Düsseldorf was effortless. The walk to the bus station took me a mere 15mins from my apartment. I was a bit on the late side, but I still got the best seat on the bus!
The drive down was uneventful. I had two very excitable women sitting behind me, the bus driver shushed them a couple of times but it didn’t help. They were on their way to their shopping day so they kept swiping their phones and showing each other pictures of what they wanted to buy or try on. The „wooow das ist ja schön“ and the „oh mein Gott das wird dir sehr gut stehen“ was getting to be a bit too much for me so I pulled out my headphones and my John Grisham novel. Don’t get me wrong I love shopping just as much as the next girl but shopping for me is a more necessary therapeutic experience when it comes to clothes. If I shop for clothes a lot in a month it’s a sure sign that I’m in a funk. The few times I do get giddy about something are where technology and travel are involved.
An hour and a half later we arrived in Maastricht. I know right so close…..! I got to my hotel, dumped my bag and just started walking around.
This is one of the first cities I just ventured into without having anything planned… I know, I know, I always preach planning for trips and activities, but this time going with the flow seemed like the perfect plan.
This post will not be about how to book your trip like the Marrakech trip. I’ll just recommend a few places to eat, see and chill, I’ll ramble on until I have no more words left to type.
First up… for all those interested in architecture this is a city to visit!! From the moment I got off the bus all I saw were architectural gems! Beautifully designed buildings line up the streets! And there is something about the way the Dutch are so simplistic/ minimalistic about their interiors that add a special kind of charm to what’s going on on the outside…
Anyway walking down the main street you see how Maastricht is one of the oldest standing cities in Europe, not because everything is crumbling and falling, rather, the cobblestone walkways, the intricate detailing of each building reflects the style of design that people used to build on. The city is split by one of the largest rivers in Europe the Maas (not the beer pint) also known as the Meuse which flows for over 925km. spanning from France, through Belgium and the Netherlands and then ending in Germany.
So, since I decided to walk without Google Maps or any sense of direction whatsoever I was not sure of some of the places I was. First, I stumbled upon was this mill… at around 9 am in the morning and everything way still empty and quiet.. the Bisschopsmolen. The inside was not as fascinating as the outside so I took a few pics of the outside and some videos all of which you can find in my Instagram Highlights here…
Next stop was this rest stop. Like literally smack down in the middle of some residential/ buildings/city was a place to just take a break and people watch…. my favourite past time 🙂 .
After wandering around the neighbourhood for a good 2 hours I decided to follow the crowd at around 11am and I ended up close to the Basiliek van Sint Servaas… A very medieval looking place, the brick work itself draws your attention. It is a very well preserved monastery. There is a tower to the side of the monastery and after climbing the non-ending stairs (about of steps that I climbed to see this view.
The rest of my day was spent taking in all the sights and eating.., ohhh there was a lot of eating ….
For food, I highly recommend going to the city square or Markt. It the best place to get tasty delicious street food and as well try out food from the many restaurants.
I don’t think I’ll apologize for the silence, because we all know how crazy life can get! So all I’ll say is I’ll be here again next week with an exciting new city! As part of my new series: “how many cities can I travel to before the end of 2018″…
oh and to all my, curly/straight-haired dark skinned ladies who can not seem to find products for their hair, skin and body…. go to the Netherlands for a day…
I apologize for the 966 words.