Maastricht - the fall is here
Maastricht Travel Blog› entry 133 of 354 › view all entries
After having made acquaintance with the oldest city in Belgium I needed to see something else. I headed out of Tongeren without any goals and just followed some of the hilly country roads until I saw a sign with Maastricht which I hadn’t been in for some months.
I entered the city and got immediately caught up in some Dutch traffic jam even on a Sunday. Holland wants always to be considered a logistical country but their internal road logistics sucks. I haven’t meet any country where the traffic does not move like in Holland, and when it moves you are sure to get a fine from one of the millions of blitzes situated everywhere. After queuing for most of half an hour I finally managed to get near the city centre at Grote Markt.
The numerous public squares around central Maastricht are surrounded by a series of quality tourist attractions. Simply strolling around these plazas offer one of the very best and simplest ways to sightsee and many enticing streets lie directly south of the Vrijthof Square, where you will discover nothing short of a medieval labyrinth. Brimming with pavement cafes is the square known as Onze Lieve Vrouweplein, which is dominated by its namesake church, the Onze Lieve Vrouwebasiliek. The Market Square (Markt) features several prominent landmarks, such as the old City Hall (Stadhuis), which was built in the middle of the 17th century as a cloth hall.
One of the famous tourist spots in Maastricht is The Helpoort, which is Holland's oldest surviving town gate and was built almost 800 years ago, along with a lengthy stretch of city wall.
Maastricht is actually riddled with endless defensive tunnels, which have been carved out of the city's soft sandstone for literally hundreds of years. One of the best places to visit the tunnels is at St. Pietersberg, situated approximately 2 km directly south of the Helpoort.
Also worth exploring in Maastricht are the fortified city walls, which edge the Maas River and create many excellent photo opportunities.
I walked around a bit window shopping in a closed city and decided to treat myself with a pizza and I entered the pizzeria on the Grote Markt.
After leaving the pizzeria I found myself walking around an hour more and then returned to my car and there to my surprise found the car without a ticket in the window.