Maastricht is definitely one of our favourite places we've gone in the Netherlands so far. We took my parents there when they visited last October, and had a wonderful time. And since I never blogged about it, I thought I'd share some of our favourite Maastricht sights and activities.
We took the train down from Amsterdam, and it took about two hours and forty-five minutes. That's a bit longer than by car, but we like riding the train, and it was nice not to have to worry about parking once we got there. Our hotel was just down the street from Maastricht's lovely main square, a location which I would definitely recommend, since one of the delights of Maastricht is just wandering through its picturesque streets.
It feels much older than Amsterdam to me–more Medieval than Dutch Golden Age. We arrived around noon, and after lunch we set out to see the city, loosely following some online walking tour we'd found. The place just drips atmosphere, from the cobblestone streets and ivy-covered buildings to the stone façades and many quaint cafés.
By the time we made it to the Bishop's Mill (the oldest working water mill in the Netherlands), the mill and bakery were closed. But you can see the huge, moss-covered water wheel that grinds the flour here.
There are still quite a few remains of the original city wall, including this one, where Axa peers unabashedly into what originally looked like someone's very old fashioned sitting room, but turned out to be an antique shop on the other side.
Here's the only remaining city gate, which dates back to the 13th century. The literal translation is “Hell's Gate”, because prisoners were kept in the tower.
Here's another angle, where you can see where the unfortunate prisoners were kept.
There were also some less ponderous monuments, such as this small statue of a boy and his dog, to which Axa immediately gravitated with hers.
Maastricht is also known for good shopping, from high-end clothing to tasty food. Here's an assortment of yummy bakery goods in the market that set itself up overnight in the main square.
We couldn't miss an opportunity to give Grandma and Grandpa a taste of gelato from this dramatic red-themed gelateria in the shadow of one of Maastricht's many churches.
But even more delicious to me was this display, a veritable symphony to my inner millinophile.
Stay tuned for more, as we go boating, hiking, and even underground to experience other dimensions of Maastricht.