Skipping right over the horror stories of traveling during the holiday season, I’m jumping right into my recent trip to the lovely town of Maastricht, the southernmost and oldest town in the Netherlands.
Reachable by a three-hour train from Amsterdam, it was somewhat convenient to travel to (if one doesn’t factor in the fear of trying not to doze off and miss their train stop).
Aside from Maastricht being a quaint Medieval town, it is also a university town where one of my good friend’s studies and lives. And thanks to her, I got a well-informed tour around the city.
***(Also, I'd like to apologize for the quality of my photos, I broke my iPhone 8 and didn't have time to repair it so I took my old iPhone 5, which I haven't used in four years.)***
The streets in the city center of Maastricht are very quaint. But don't let this photo fool you, I had to hunt around for less crowded places to take photos as Maastricht was very crowded when I arrived. My friend told me its because a lot of people from nearby countries like Belgium, which is only 10 km or 6 miles away from the Netherlands border, come to Maastricht for shopping, alongside people from Germany.
For a person who adores books, Boekhandel Dominicanen (Bookstore Dominicanen), was a dream come true. Located in the heart of the city center is a 13th century Dominican Monastery, deconsecreated in 1796, is a cathedral converted into a bookstore.
With a muraled ceiling and Gothic vaults, this bookstore is unlike any bookstore I've ever seen. Armed with a variety of books in different languages, there's a huge English section. I was also very surprise to see Rupi Kaurs's poetry books and Amanda Lovelace's book "The Princess Saves Herself in this One" on the shelves of this bookstore.
I was also taken to a Christmas market, which I know originated in Germany, but was nonetheless nice to go to a Dutch version.
There were so many cute shops and stands , but I didn't take many photos as it seemed rude, especially since I wasn't buying their products. But there were so many Christmas snacks I've never seen before, alongside the staples like candied apples and chocolates wrapped in bright ribbons.
This post is running a little long, I'll probably do a second one talking about the various Cathedrals I went into. Such as, "Onze Lieve Vrouwebasiliek" (Basilica of Our Lady) and Basilica of St. Servatius.
Maastricht, although a small town, it's a lively one. With tons to do, alongside some of the most impressive high-fashion shopping stores I've ever seen, and that's comparing Stokstraat to Madison Ave and Champs-Elysees.
Sadly, I wish I could have stayed longer, but I shall be returning soon.