18 February 2008

Maastricht in Pictures

For Teresa's February break, we decided to meet up in Maastricht, Netherlands to visit Scott and get a taste of the Dutch countryside. Maastricht is located in the very southern tip of the Netherlands, right on the border with Belgium. It is also famous for the 1992 Treaty of Maastricht, which created the European Union.

This was the first time I saw Teresa since May 2007, and the first time seeing Scott since December 2007. We had a nice little IU reunion! If you look to the upper left of the picture, you can see the wrought-iron year of that building (A 1775).

Maastricht is very much a biking city, so our first day, we borrowed bikes and toured the city.
It was a great way to see the different areas of the city- and very convenient, since most of the streets have bike paths paved in red. However, be prepared to bike on cobblestone- it's very bumpy!

The old Maastricht fort, which we saw as a part of our bike tour.

Typical Maastricht street leading from the Vrijthof Square, one of the two main squares in downtown Maastricht.

The next day, we took a 15-minute bike ride out to the Château Neercanne. This is me posing with my rental bike, with its too-tall seat. Most people here are taller, so it was not easy to find bikes that were marginally comfortable! Behind me is the little vineyard in front of the castle.

Side of the castle and view of the countryside after we first climbed up the hill next to the vineyard. Note the beautiful weather, and the clarity of the sky such that you can see the moon!

Garden in front of the castle.

Front of the castle. We didn't get to go in, but we did see the fancy restaurant on the other side, built into the hill. After walking around this part of the castle, we did a bit of exploring through the paths on the hill around the back.

In this picture you can see the border of the Netherlands and Belgium. You only have to cross the bridge! And cross the bridge we would...by visiting Brussels on a separate trip the next week.

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