Matt Richardson

The Netherlands (Part I) - Maastricht

October 22, 2004 | 2 Minute Read

Gah. Why oh why did I start this thing. Its bad, cos I started a precedent on how much I was writing, and even in just saying I'd do it. Painful. Then again, its my own fault for letting it get so far behind...

Anyway, the magical adventure that was The Netherlands all starts in Maastricht. A little city, not that much exciting about it, other than it claims to be the oldest city in The Netherlands. The hostel we stayed in was waaay out in the boonies (over 20 minutes on the bus), but had an added benefit of being attached to a leisure centre with a pool. And as a bonus, my 'residents pass' (for want of a better term) gave us free access to the pool. And seeing i was a little antsy from lack of serious exercise, it was a good thing.

This pool was kinda odd. For starters, the changing room was just a room full of little individual cubicles, with a door on the front (from the outside), and a door on the back (with access to the pool). Wasn't even a catch on the doors, so it made it interesting trying to get changed, while holding the doors shut... Other thing was that when we eventually got access to the 25 metre pool (which I'm almost positive is 20 metres max), after the lesson was finished, they decided to ignore the line markings on the bottom of the pool, remove all the lane ropes, and then get everyone to swim across the pool, rather than up and down. So, swimming involved ducking and weaving to avoid others, rather than the solid exercise i was hoping for... But, at least i got a swim out of it.

Next day we hit the tourist info point (the VVV apparently), and grabbed a map of the town, and wandered around seeing all the sites. Wasn't all that exciting really. Well, no, I lie - we got sidetracked at one point, watching a building get demolished. It was quite amusing - there was lots of guys standing watching, a few with wives, but only one woman standing by herself. Pretty funny. Oh the other exciting thing was finding a street called "Hilarius Street" - i was impressed.

There really wasn't that much that was exciting about the whole place, so we headed of for the excitement of Utrecht, to meet Maud - a fellow survivor of the hostel in Rome. 

PS - now that I've got the photos up, you can check out the photos of Maastricht if you're bored...

Tagged: On Travels