Day Eleven: Maastricht

Woke up in near perfect darkness as we had wonderful black out curtains in our room. We had our fresh rolls and salami/leverworst and got ready for our outing with Dries and Sigrid (Jip’s friends from his studies in Sweden). We met them at Dries’ place before the four of us piled in to the small Fiat. Dries was in charge of navigation and we weren’t off to a great start, having gone in a different direction and with me accidentally driving on the wrong side of the road. Soon enough, we were in the country side near Maastricht and out of the Netherlands into Belgium. We had passed so many cyclists on our journey as the country side near Maastricht is very hilly and it was such lovely weather. Dries mentioned that he had never seen so many before!

We stopped at a tiny village called Voeren for lunch prior to our hike. We ate at a place called De Swaen (The Swan) which is housed in a beautiful cottage dating back to 1742. We all had something different and as I couldn’t read the menu, Jip ordered for me and got the smoked salmon with dill and capers as an open sandwich with a side salad.

On our walk, we walked up little trails to luscious meadows with dairy cows and down rocky areas where mountain bike riders were going. We stopped for ice cream briefly at a small shop in the middle of nowhere before completing our 8.5km journey. We were in full sun for the entire afternoon and we all applied sunscreen and none of us were really burnt. We had the occasional red patch on the neck but mostly fine.

We dropped Dries and Sigrid off in Maastricht before driving an hour and a half to Wijchen. On arrival, Jip’s mother Saskia had been looking after a hulphund Labrador puppy, Lotje so we were greeted with a wagging tail and excitement. We were so exhausted, we got dominos pizza delivered and we ate the lot whilst washing it down with some glorious beer.