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Dipesh Majumdar

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Exploring Maastricht in one day

May 10, 2015

After almost 2 and half hour of train journey from Amsterdam Central Station, we reached Maastricht. It was a sunny day and the city looked beautiful. We had the plan for exploring Maastricht in one day completely chalked out and the gps was there for direction. No question of wastage of time in trying to figure out which way to go....  I am a firm believer of exploring a city by walking it's streets. It is then only one can soak in the essence of a new place. Giving enough time is key and nothing good can come by rushing through sites and places. 

As you can see on the clock above it was 11:15 PM when we reached Maastricht railway station  

We started walking straight towards the famous old bridge - Sint Servaasbrug, over Maas River. A video clip taken here can depict the true spirit of this place. The soothing bells from the nearby church makes it special... catch a glimpse of the below youtube video clip - 

 

Sint Servaasbrug - the oldest bridge in Netehrlands View from the bridge

From here we headed towards Vrijthof - which in one way is the focal point of Maastricht. This place is like the Museumplein of Amsterdam, on a smaller scale of course. The huge Sint Servaasbasiliek can be seen here standing majestically. This dates back to 1000AD. It's worth going very near and studying the architecture in detail. Just like the Rijk Museum which is the cynosure of Museumplein in Amsterdam, Sint Servaasbasiliek is the cynosure of Vrijthof.

Also adjacent to it is the tall Sint Janskerk (14th/15th Century Gothic Church). Heard a lot about this Red Color Church and it indeed looks marvelous.

We didn't waste much time and headed straight towards Fort Sint Pieter. Below this Fort are the famous Maastricht Caves. We were targetting the 2 O' Clock English Tour to the Caves that take place here - which is quite famous. 

The guide was very charming and he made this place alive with his narrative stories of past when people used to hide in these caves. With three four hand-lanterns we started walking inside the caves with soft lime-stones. In the pics below you can see the guide explaining some of the wall paintings. It's not possible to capture the mysterious dark caves in camera and one has to experience though these guided tours. 

At one point the Guide led us to a lonely walk in absolute pitch darkness... and let me admit something here - i haven't experienced such pitch darkness in my life... its a hell of an experience to walk in such dark caves - just make sure that you have your left hand touching the wall and the right on to the shoulder of the person ahead - and then you take small baby steps forward... 

At last there was light at the end of the tunnel as the guide came to our relief with his hand lantern smiling. 

Waiting for train in Amsterdam Rai Inside Train from Amsertdam Rai to Utrecht CS

We came out of the caves thrilled and bemused and after a heavy lunch here, we proceeded again towards Vrijthof. Here there was a fare going on and we thought it would be good to entertain Romir with some of the amsuments here. 

Finally we were left with the last Church to explore - Onze Lieve Vrouwebasiliek. This was really a beautiful place. One shouldn't miss the shrine to Mary Star of the sea... very pristine, pure and peaceful is this place and spending some time in silence in this place can be really a good experience. I walked around the building to enjoy the architecture and the statues...

Related Travel Blogs from my wanderings in Netherlands - 

  1. Madurodam
  2. Exploring Maastricht in one day
  3. King's day celebration in Amsterdam
  4. Beautiful city - Utrecht
  5. Snapshots from Keukenhof
  6. A stroll around Rijk Museum and unwinding at Vondelpark
  7. A visit to Anne Frank House
  8. Dam Square, Netherlands
  9. A day in Rotterdam
  10. Scheveningen Beach
  11. Zandvoort Beach
  12. Van Gogh Museum
  13. Cycling in Netherlands

Additional information - 

If you have a prepaid kpn sim, it's a good option to get a day bundle of 100mb activated for gps navigation on your smart phone: http://www.kpn.com/prive/mobiel/informatie/prepaid/voordeelbundels/internet-dagtegoed.htm

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