My son's been raving about how beautiful Maastricht is for years, and now that we've caught up with him here, I have to agree - it's such a lovely small city.
We've had a fantastic couple of days catching up with Bennett and Lara, as well as my niece Kimberly who extended a work trip to the UK to join us for the weekend. The city has been so fun to explore - the old walled city is packed with interesting shops, restaurants and bars. The river sets a beautiful backdrop and most fun has been the beautiful-people watching.
The Dutch cruise the streets looking like a million bucks and seem to take fashion seriously! I deplored how Americans (in general) go out in public dressed like they're about to wash their car, and here I'm the one who feels so under-dressed. We've been counting the men in smart red or orange pants, most accessorised with matching shoes - if each one was worth 5 euro, my trip would be paid for. The women look stunning too, and seem to easily navigate cobblestone streets in heels.
The B&B we're staying in gives us free use of bikes, so we took up the Dutch custom of using bike transport - wish that more cities/countries were this bike friendly! They have special bike paths everywhere with separate bike traffic lights. How civilised, not to mention healthy and environmentally friendly. We did a fair bit of riding and covered so much of the city. You really kinda feel Dutch - at least temporarily - while you ride. We've seen mothers boosting kids on both front and back of the bike - I can't imagine doing that with Bennett and Piers when they were little. I would have crashed!
There's been a food and wine festival in Vrijthof Square, the social centre of the old city and that was fun to see too, as it brought lots of people and bands and choirs of all kinds into the city this weekend. Another treat was stopping on the way home at a bar that was holding a Tango night. Bennett's friend Hubert works there, and he told us it was part of a Tango tour, organised by 4 Tango clubs from the region. Man those people could dance.