Prior to our jaunt to Maastricht at the weekend, if we’d have played Mallet’s Mallet and the word had been Maastricht, the only word I’d have associated with it would have been Treaty. And even then I’d have struggled to tell you what the Maastricht Treaty was. Which is pretty rubbish and I’m a lot more up to speed now.
Just 90 minutes up the road from us on the autobahn is the Belgian/Dutch border on which Maastricht sits. It’s a gem of a small city that was a complete surprise. I absolutely loved it.
First impressions were those of frustration and annoyance. It’s a one-way system city; kind of like Bristol so I should be used to it, but driving our beast of a massive car around to find a central car park started to get on my nerves. But having successfully parked up in a underground garage, we emerged in the shopping area which made me super happy.
The high street shopping experience there is probably one of the best I’ve seen after Munich and Antwerp. But with 3 trailing family members in tow, that was never going to happen.
We used our trusty Lonely Planet and headed straight to a cafe for lunch.
Bisshopsmolen is a cafe and bakery that makes the most delicious spelt bread. The bread is made from flour supplied by the next door vintage flour mill that is powered by a 7th century water wheel. It was a cool experience and although all 4 of us squashed ourselves around a table for two, we enjoyed every second of our lunch and the surrounds.
The highlight for me was going to a book shop that is housed in an old Cathedral. There’s even a cafe where the altar once was. It was fairly impressive but the lingering and perusing opportunities were limited by our 3 year old needing a wee wee. Now.
Other than that we just walked and walked. Stopping here and there to look at the main sights and to have an ice cream or two.
We knew that we were in The Netherlands because the bike population was as high as the number of people that were out and about.
The shop frontage signs were cool.
And there were some interesting art pieces just hanging out.
If you had more time, or the inclination, you could take a tour on one of these..
It was a fantastic city and I’d highly recommend it if you’re considering a trip to The Netherlands, Belgium or Germany any time soon.