Friday, May 21, 2010

Change Day is Tough Day

Sunrise this time of year is ~4:30 a.m. The roosters start a little before sunrise.

We got up ~5:30 Wednesday, to be ready for a 6:30 taxi to start K's travel back to California.

Everybody knows this is true: you NEVER sleep well when you have to meet a taxi at 6:30. So, neither of us slept particularly well.

Taxi was on time, and all went well, except for minor glitch at Ede station. Ticket machines wouldn't take what we had available, so we had to wait a few minutes for main office to open so we could trade cash for tix. No big deal. Caught train to Schiphol in plenty of time for K to make her flight. I went with her to airport.

Hard part... was at the airport. Katie was 90% ready to blow off reservations and stay here with me... I was 90% ready to buy a ticket and head home with her. K said something very, very kind: "You'll have a great time for the next couple weeks." And she headed to check-in, I headed back to the trains. But not without some tears in the process. Kissing sweetheart goodbye is rough.

Made it to Maastricht via a couple train connections.

Maastricht seems like a nice town. A few days ago we were freezing in Den Helder (far north-west Netherlands), now I'm in the far south-east and weather is great. Maastricht is a prosperous town in a sliver of Netherlands sandwiched between Belgium and Germany... would love to know how it came to pass that this town is part of Netherlands. Maybe can find out tomorrow.

Friendly reception here at B&B. Spent time sitting in the sun with proprietor, who lent me maps, guidebooks and advice.

For some reason, I focused on cars this afternoon. There are a lot of small, quality, diesel-powered cars here. Seems to me that they'd be a hit in California, but... CARB and Detroit have other thoughts.

No internet connection, apparently a problem with service provider, so I'll post this next time I get a connection.

(PS -- Big event tonight is laundry! The rags are rank.)


  1. Hi Steve,

    Welcome to Maastricht!

    Here are some museums to visit: (must do!)

    The place to go to sit on a" terrasje” have something to drink/eat is:


    From there walk across the square and visit the cathedral and explore the area behind and around it. Of course don’t forget to go inside the cathedral!
    The main shopping street leading up to the “Vrijthof” is very commercialised at the beginning from this street you will find the “VVV” (tourist buro). Check it out for some more advice and maps. One really nice walk to do is the one over the old city walls. Perhaps a guided tour might give you some better insight.
    Very close to the “VVV” is a large department store called “V&D” / “Bijenkorf”. Go inside and make your way all the way to the top where there is a restaurant with an outside terras (you have to go one lever up from the restaurant taking the stairs…) from where you will have a very nice view over the roofs of Maastricht.

    The main bridge connecting both sides of the city was build by the Romans!

    Dont forget to visit the Library witch is located in “Centre Ceramique” not just for the library but also for the historic neighborhoods and.

    You can also cycle some time south along the river “Maas” for a nice scenic ride.

    An other fun thing to do are the two Markets that are held. One is more focused on produce and the other one on goods. From what I recall they are on wednesday and friday mornings. Its quite a different experience than the Farmers markets we have here.

    Hmm what’s more, there is sooo much more. Ask your B&B guy and the VVV. I also have a very good friend who would be the greatest guide ever except the fact that you want’ get him on a bike ;-)

    One other very interesting thing to do is to venture to Belgium. And visit the (early) sunday morning market called “La Bat”. You can that an easy train ride or a boat. Since the marked is on the banks of the same river that splits Maastricht in half. Again ask the VVV for advise.
    BTW Luik (Liege in french) has many very interesting sights!

    Pfeew times to short.

  2. Oh yes don’t forget to try the Genuine Belgium fries at the place that I pointed out to you.

  3. One of the other must go places:

    Go and burn a candle in the small chapel and don’t forget to go inside the Basilica!

    Google this link. Since I was not allowed to include the Google Map link in this message:

    sterre der zee maastricht

  4. Facing the Basilica and Hotel Maastricht.
    (yes you can have an other beverage on the terras ;-)

    Go down the street on the left hand side (Plankstraat) . And keep an eye on the stores on the right side at one point where there is an other small square check the stores on the right. One of them has a window that shows a basement. Go inside and walk down the steps. It will take you back in time!

    BTW if you feel like a spa. Go to Valkenburg and visit “Thermea 2000”.

    Old Roman thermal baths can ben found in Heerlen...

  5. Steve,

    If you find a thermal bath avail yourself of this marvelous experience your life will be changed esp. if you have some soreness from riding.