April 28, 2015
The weather was sunny and warm so my friend Ilona and I decided to go to Maastricht in the Netherlands. It is not very far from Brussels, only about 100 km (62 miles). It is located near the German and Belgian border which is ideal for German and Belgian shoppers especially on Sundays when in their countries all the shops are closed.
Maastricht is one of the oldest cities in Holland and is located on both sides of the Meuse river. While strolling through the historic inner city, we discovered churches, monumental merchant houses and big squares which merge seamlessly with a comprehensive and varied range of shops. Maastricht is also a city of indulgence and culinary highlights. There are pleasant lunchrooms, Michelin-starred restaurants, vineyard farms and an extensive range of excellent regional products and dishes.
A view of both river sides
Before we started our walking around, we had lunch in this little restaurant called "La clé" which means "The key". The food was very good and we had a wonderful view on the river.
Then we strolled through the narrow little streets
discovered a variety of various architectural styles
and we arrived on a huge place in front of the City hall
All around the place were cafés and restaurants, one besides the other.
Pictures from around the place.
We enjoyed the sunshine sitting there and having a coffee and watched all the tourists who spoke in all languages. The very friendly waiter offered to take a picture of us.
Then we arrived at the Vrijhof also a very huge place
The Maastricht theater
and also restaurants and cafés all around
There were rather strange statues standing made from concrete and then painted. Not so my taste.
In the middle of the place stood a statue of Jan Pieter Minckeleers, a famous Dutch scientist who invented gas lighting.
There also were two churches side by side. The Basilica of Saint Servatius which we only saw from outside and the St John's Cathedral, which we could visit inside. The 13th century gothic church was built with red stones and houses a large number of impressive objects, like 14th and 15th century murals, memorials, tombstones and a pulpit from 1780.
This church is now protestant and Ilona was so surprised about the simplicity inside the church. She only knows catholic churches as there is nothing else in Belgium, it is a catholic country. She had never seen a protestant church, only Anglican churches when we were in the UK.
Time went by so fast and we had to return to Brussels. Fortunately there was no traffic and we arrived home without any problems. What a nice day !
Tuesday, April 28, 2015
April 28, 2015