Arriving in Maastricht

Trip Start Jun 17, 2010
Trip End Aug 18, 2010

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Where I stayed
Frans & Martine

Flag of Netherlands  , Limburg,
Monday, June 21, 2010

Monday, 6/21 After a leisurely morning, Veronica drove us to Utrecht for the 2:08 train to Maastricht.  While hefting our baggage onto the train, we realized our packing needed serious revisions…we didn't even attempt moving the cases further up the stairs, instead we laughed at making the trip sitting in the jump seats with peek a boo views of the countryside, determined to rectify the situation once in Maastricht.  

Very dear friends of mine met us at the station in Maastricht and as the sun came out and the temperature rose, they treated Linda and I to a driving tour through the province of Limburgh, in which Maastricht resides.  This is a Roman walled city, the oldest in The Netherlands, established in the 13th century.  The population is approximately 150,000, with dense population in the city and farms and small villages nearby.   The city is charming, along the Maas River and has beautiful cobblestone streets, parks and bicycles everywhere

 I have special ties to Maastricht having moved here fifteen years ago to work for a Dutch company.  I stayed at Frans and Martine, the people we are now with and the reason this trip came to be….to celebrate their 60th birthday party with them.  I stayed at their Bed and Breakfast for three weeks when I moved here while waiting for the house I would be renting to be available.  I knew no one, didn’t speak the language and at times felt quite lonely and lost.  By the end of the three weeks at the B&B, Frans was sending me off to work with a thermos of hot coffee in the morning and he and Martine had introduced me to their friends and family and the three of us developed a deep friendship.  During the time I was here, they seemed to sense when I needed "family" and always included me in whatever they were doing.   I have visited them many times since and always feel as if I’m coming home when I return to Limburgh and Frans and Martine.  I have heard that is not usual for Dutch people to take someone into their lives as much as they have with me, so I am indeed blessed with their friendship and love. 

They have a lovely house that is about 200-300 years old which they have remodeled and made it and the garden very elegant.  It has 3 floors with very steep stairs.  On the 3rd level are the two bedrooms for the B&B, a shower room and a WC. Each bedroom has a wash basin in it.  Up there the ceilings slope steeply and the bed is tucked into the slope.  It is very comforting for some reason to sleep so close to the roof.  On the 2nd floor are the master bedroom & bath, Frans’ office (he is a CPA who specializes in clients who are in the Arts) and also Martine’s office/treatment room.  M is a nurse and also trained as a specialist in the treatment of the skin, similar to a dermatologist.  On the main floor are the sitting room, dining room, kitchen & WC. High walls separate the back yard from the neighbors providing a lot of privacy.  In the back of the yard they have renovated a garden shed into a small apartment/art studio.  Across the street and through a treed greenbelt is the river Maas.
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bob deluca on

Iris, you make me feel I'm on the trip with you. Enjoy more. We miss you. XOXO

Tom and Jan Coburn on

Looks like a wonderful place to explore. Like similar to our tour up the Rhone river not too far from Marsalis (sp), Arles, home of VanGohl had the Roman walls around the inner city, We saw these Roman walls on all the cities on the Rhone.\
You don't want to be in Palm Desert right now. 108 degrees and 110 tomorrow with winds around 15mph with thunderstorms tonight. The dust is blowing and everyone is hunkered down. No cars, nothing outside.
I never did find your wine. Your plants all look good, front and back.

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