The highlight of a side trip to Maastricht was a boat tour down the canals to the underground tunnels…
Under grey skies, we toured along the river, passing through the pastoral scenery of Holland. Eventually we arrived at the ‘caves’. In actuality they are tunnels — man-made as opposed to natural. Beneath the city, the earth is made of marl, a stone soft enough to be cut with a knife, but which hardens into a solid stone when exposed to light. There is extensive graffiti carved into the entrance of the ‘caves’. Even Napoleon was not immune to leaving his mark on the walls of the caves. The extensive use of marl as a building material resulted in over 200 km of tunnels that riddle the region. Because of Maastricht’s strategic position it was often under siege, and the population hid in these tunnels long enough for shops and services to develop. There is an underground church… a bakery, a bar… a Hotel Café Restaurant… and interesting artwork. Back above the earth and in the city, we stopped for a great meal – me especially, a salad to remember: three huge hunks of Chevre wrapped with smoked salmon on a leafy mixed green salad with walnuts, starfruit and more! The salads in Belgium and Holland have been to die for… The beer is Weickse Rosé, almost like a rosé wine, but with a beery edge. Al didn’t like it and suspected grenadine had been added to the beer. Al had fish stew with Palm beer. He wasn’t that keen on the beer and pronounced it thin and basic. I’m not sure if this was the cafe we ate at, or if we just took the photo because we liked the name! We went back to Hasselt for the night. Our evening beer must have been nondescript, as I can’t find it in my notes anywhere. Not sure if I was crazy about the pepper on the cheese either… Part of our 2012 trip around Belgium, mostly following the Beer Route.
Pingback: Rivers from Around the World | Albatz Travel Adventures·
Pingback: Cosmic Challenge: Written on Stone | Albatz Travel Adventures·