Exploring Maastricht – my first days

City of Maastricht in Netherlands become a place, where I will spent next months. It's time to explore the neighbourhood and the city itself. We are lucky about the weather, so we have spent in the town not only the day, but we were also curious what the city looks like in the night.

Maastricht – right shore of MaasMaastricht – right shore of Maas, source: my picture

We arrived on Saturday afternoon, when we also made the first visit of the city. Maastricht's population is about 120 000, which is not that much actually, but the city is believed to be the oldest town in the Netherlands. It lies on the river Maas, so there are 5 bridges over the river. Two of them are for everybody also for cars in both directions, two are for bicycles and pedestrians only and one has restricted traffic. The oldest bridge is now in reconstruction. River itself is quite big, bigger than Moldau in Prag I would say. I also see quite a lot of ships there, so the river is used for transport.

I like historical places and the historical buildings all over the city are amazing! There are two main squares – Market and Vrijthof. Vrijthof is often used for concerts and festivals, there are every Wednesday and Friday markets on the Market. Smiley :D How convinient name for ths place in the city centre. There are also a lot of churches in Maastricht, but some of them are used for non religion purposes – like bookstore, kindergarden or place for celebrations. Quite a good idea, because the building itself is kept in a historical condition and the place itself is used very often by everyone.

Let's see the city

My first days consisted of really spontanious exploration of the city. We just walked without map, randomly choosing streets where to go. On Saturday evening, we first found the train station and then followed busy street to the city centre. Our target was some place with free wifi, so we could connect to the internet and send some message home. McDonald's provided free wifi hotspot in Maastricht. I used my smartphone to tell my friends, that since then I was in Maastricht. I think that I do not need to describe, what 3 guys were most interested in Smiley :) Well, we definitely noticed, that girls ride on the bike also while wearing really short skirts and that they ride in two on these small motorbikes with limited speeds. Nice Smiley :).

I do not know why, but I didn't take any pictures of the town that night. Strange, but true. The truth is, that I was so amazed by the city and the feeling, that I am here, I said to myself, that I can take pictures of night Maastricht any time. Now I regret it, because I would remember, where have we been Smiley :D. Well, be arrived to Market and also Vrijthof and used another bridge to get back.

Sunday – finding the shops

We decided to go north and try to find some shops in the neighbourhood. Well, on Sunday are all shops closed, but still. Good to know where they are. So we walked first to the north, than west and than south back to the city. I realized, that not very far from me, there is a park of let's say larger green area, so possibility to go running or something. There is also a lake with statue of dragonfly and near that we saw crab in the grass! Wow, the water needs to be really clean and it's just next to the highway. Another stop was again fast food – internet needed Smiley :D. Ok, now I know the nearest free wifi hotspot in case of emergency. Then we entered the east part of the city, full of houses, but it was really calm Sunday. We also have found two supermarkets – C1000 and big Albert Heijn.

After dinner, we again went to the city for some night life. We stopped by the coffee shop too of course. We were interested how it works, so after copying of our ID, we were allowed to go in. Actually, since the 1st of October 2011, there is a new regulation, that prohibits selling weed to non-residents. You can buy just the marijuana, and make the joint by yourself, or buy an already prepared joint. You are allowed to smoke weed in the coffee shop or at home. But by the smell, you can tell, that people smoke it also on the streets, but if you see them, you never know if it isn't just a cigarette.

This time I took some pictures and we played with the long shutter – night photos on a bridge, so we enjoyed ourselves.

Monday

We seized the opportunity of a workday and went for a small shopping. I found some places on the internet with old furniture, but as we drove from one place to another, all were closed. It was a pitty, because since Tuesday I will have no time for that. At least we picked a good program for that day. It rained, so actually spending the day in car driving around and shopping was quite a good idea. We used GPS for navigation as I did not posses any map so for, but I already get to know some roads in Maastricht, which I found very useful for future orientation in the city. Weather got better for the night, so we went again to the city, this time we also explored park with lake near the walls and modern bridge nearby. Who would say, that we can have so much fun on an almost empty bridge Smiley :D. But we did Smiley :D. We also say the city in the night with all the lights also from the south side. I was getting more nervous about the next day – beginning of INKOM and it was the last day for my brother and our friend in Maastricht.

Photogallery – My first days in Maastricht

There is a related photogalery containing 12 photos to this article. Go to the photogallery.
Article last edited 22. 8. 2011, viewed: 677-times.
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labels Labels:Bike, Erasmus, Historical place, Sightseening
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