Monday, April 27, 2009

Dutch Getaway

It would seem that we're always heading to somewhat unexpected locations for our little getaways. Most people here head south, towards the sun. It's where you're expected to go. But I have to admit that I have a rather bit weakness for heading north, or towards the northern countries. Although it's not usually sunny or terribly warm, there is something just so lovely about them and I feel terribly at home.

Ourselves, we live in northern France which, for all intents and purposes, doesn't change much from Belgium, the next country up from us and only about 5 miles from our house. The culture and weather are pretty much the same. Given that we live in the grey and mist all year round, it's true that you could expect us to want to get away to the sun. But no, we head north.

And this past week was no exception. While the older girls were in the south with their grandmother, we packed up the wee man and headed to Maastricht in the Netherlands. To be honest, geographically speaking, it's more east of here than north, but still, officially the Netherlands is north of France so I'm sticking to my story.

Maastricht is a small city nestled between the Belgian and German borders. It's not the tourist attraction that is Bruges, Gent or Amsterdam, but maybe that's what makes it so nice. It's a true living city that offers sites to see and a relaxing time, even with a 2-year-old. Our hotel was located just outside the city and surrounded by a luscious green park the city and rented bikes to make our way around. The little man was in heaven in his Bakfiets and only attempted escape at the very beginning. Once he figured out that he could truly enjoy the ride from his vantage point, he settled in and we were able to do a bit of sightseeing, even if most of it did revolve around strategically placed teeter-totters and duck ponds. And we were lucky with the weather that was in our favour not only for cycling but for sampling some local delights.

It was a very much needed break and a wonderful one at that. Definitely a city that is worth the detour with or without wee ones in tow.

14 comments:

Kala said...

looks fab!

Jennifer Rose said...

lovely shots :) I prefer going to places that are not tourist traps. see more of the country and learn more about the people that live there I find :)

SoBella Creations said...

Sounds like a wonderful getaway!

aliceinparis said...

Sounds lovely! Getting away does recharge the batteries doesn't it. I love out of the way places too:)

AgapeLiz said...

I love Maastricht.

myminimocs said...

sounds like a wonderful time!

Duni said...

Very nice pics!
Every now and then we head on over to the Netherlands too - after all, it's only a 20 min car-drive across the border :)

Swiedebie said...

Beautiful shots, Gretchen! I have a relative living in Maastricht, and indeed it is a nice getaway.

The Clever Kitty said...

Sounds like you had a nice time! I hope to make it to Europe someday. :)

Giffysk8s said...

Sounds magical. I love mini-getaways! Good for the spirit, not too much laundry when you get home. :) I am glad you got to enjoy it!

Kreativlink said...

Sounds like a lovely trip! :)

Star of the East said...

Maastricht is wonderful indeed it still has something from the old times, not like Amsterdam :) Good to have some escapes now and then :)

kraplap said...

looks you had a great trip ! I love Maastricht too, will go there in august for the art market.

Spotted Sparrow said...

I love Maastricht too! We go there often for day trips since it's only about 30 mins away. Thanks for sharing your beautiful pictures.