First trip behind the borders – Lanaken in Belgium

It's sunny Saturday, ideal time for some bike trip to explore the neighbourhood of Maastricht after our first week at SBE at Maastricht University. The one of the closest Belgian town to Maastricht is Lanaken, so let's ride there.

Crossing the borderCrossing the border, source: my picture
I've been in Maastricht for almost 3 weeks now, but I have a bike only for a week. I wanted to use the first free Saturday with sunny weather for a trip. I convinced my fellow Czech student Zuzka to come with me. Bára had to do some stuff for school, but she said that we should stop by on our way back. Great idea, bike trip and then dinner together when we could discuss our first week at Maastricht University. I was not sure which direction to take, so why not to the nort-west to Belgium? I was curious if I could spot some difference there.

We met at 2 p.m. at my place and with a simple map in hand, we started out first bike trip. Biking in the Netherlands is fun and easy. Traffic is made for that, cyclist have enough space. No the case of Belgium. First difference spotted. Smiley :D But on the other hand the only other thing that signalized that we crossed the border was the sign. Later on the buildings we different too. In Maastricht and general in the Netherlands the architecture of regular houses is very similar and simple with mostly dark colours used. The suburbs of Lanaken were on the other hand were full of large houses and each of them was different to the others. Like as rich people would live there, a bit more similar to the Czech Republic but there you cannot see any trees close by.

Lanaken

The town is quite small, small square with big church and shopping street heading out of the city. On the first sight not much to see there. So we followed the shopping street further on. We came soon out of the city and therefore we made a turn and this time went through some suburbs to see again big houses with large gardens. I liked it, it was quiet clean and close to the town centre.

Cherry and strawberry beerCherry and strawberry beer, source: my picture

Our next stop was a small shopping centre with supermarkets. We tried some in the busy street, but they we closed, we got more lucky with Carrefour on one of the side street. Prices were almost the same as in the Netherlands, some articles a bit cheaper, but who would travel so far to do some small shopping? Definitely not me. I was also interested if they offer different line of goods but it seemed pretty similar to me. Well, one exemption – beers. Of can I even call it a beer? They have all fruit flavours, small bottles. I might accept that girls drink sweet drinks, but beer should definitely be something different. I wanted to buy some ice cream, but all they had were big boxes or multipacks. Damn, what this is supposed to mean? We therefore bought only some bread and cheese.

Visit and dinner at Bára's place

Back to MaastrichtBack to Maastricht, source: my picture

To make our trip more interesting, we took some different way back to Maastricht. I was not sure where we were going as Lanaken was out of my map but we decided to follow the signs. This should lead us the right way, doesn't it? It did. We rode one road just straight on for like 2 kilometres or so and then voila, Maastricht Smiley :) I was never been to Bára's place and neither was Zuzka but we got the address and using the map we figured it out. We got there at about 6 p.m.

I really like the place where Bára lives in Maastricht. It's like 10mins walking to SBE, so like 4 mins with a bike, close to the city centre, but window to terrace with garden so also quiet place. Se has her own kitchen in her room, like a studio. Only toilet and shower is shared on the floor. Room was spacey and with nice, new and purposeful furniture. Bike shed in the house, washing machine too. For price of 300€ great deal. Well, I remember that when I was looking for a place to say, similar offers were available, but for girls only.

We decided to make pancakes and it's ideal dinner for more people and easy to cook. During the evening we compared our experience from the courses and as we all are from the same university and track in Prague we also talked about what is similar and different to our Institute of Economic Studies at Charles University in Prague. Amazing day with great evening and I am really excited what will happen in the next 5 months of our stay in Maastricht.

Detailed map of my Eindhoven city tour


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Photogallery – Trip to Lanaken

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Article last edited 27. 6. 2012, viewed: 1040-times.
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labels Labels:Beer, Belgium, Bike, Czech people, Erasmus, Sightseening, Weather
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