Maastricht, Netherlands

Having passed through a 14 metre deep lock we arrived safely in Maastricht at Treech 42 Marina.

From there we walked through streets of beautiful houses and villas with sparkling clean windows adorned with flowers and artefacts.

A path through the town park lead us to remains of the old town wall and into the inner city. What a delightful city!

Something to discover around every corner: interesting copper sculptures, designer clothes and shoes, buildings and churches from 12th century to foundations of Roman baths and bridges.

The main city place, the so called “Vrijthof", was all but taken up by stage and seats for the upcoming André Rieu concerts.

After all, this is Rieu’s birth town!

Now in our third country here in Europe for this year, another encounter showed us, how small the world is! 

An Aussie boat arrived at the marina, and not finding a big enough mooring spot, we offered to tie up on our starboard side. We soon learned that De and John on the Sirius were from beautiful Tassie, and that they are long time sailing buddies of our amazing adventurers and circumnavigator friends, Vicky and Andrew Bray. Some ears must have rung in Sydney that night!

The next morning, as we were cruising down the river our ageing bow thruster gave up the ghost. Luckily we were close to one of the many shipyards here in Holland and after a quick phone call they told us to pop over and that they would have a look at the problem. 

When we arrived, we tied up next to a big commercial barge and the Freshwater was soon lifted out of the water. It’s a very unsettling experience to see your 14 tonne boat with all your possessions swinging in slings high above you!

As parts had to be send for we decided to hire a car and go back to Germany for a few days. But first we needed a place to stay for the night.

A nice couple from Switzerland, Heidi and Thomas, who were working on their boat in the same shipyard, took us to the B & B they were staying at.

That night we sat around a big family table with 10 people and Hub, the owner and cook. We had a lovely meal, Hub ladling soup out of a huge pot, followed by pork loin with all the trimmings, cheese and coffee,  all served with heart and humour! Great Dutch hospitality!

The next morning, Heidi and Thomas kindly drove us to the train station.

We got back to Maastricht and had time to walk around the modern East of the city before we could pick up our hire car.

On this side of the “Maas" (the Dutch name of the Meuse) is the Bonnefanten Museum, built by Italian architect Aldo Rossi.

The building has some great features and contains amazing old Christian and contemporary sculptures.

Later, on the Autobahn Austin raced BMWs and Porsches in our hire car and I chewed away on 200g of Dutch lollies to calm my nerves.

I think my dentist will love me!

© Austin Robinson 2019