29 in Maastricht

I turned 29 the other day, and decided to spend it in The Netherlands touring around Maastricht and a local brewery.  R and I had an awesome day, the weather was perfect and it was really a great way to spend the day.  I also reached an important milestone in my weightlifting this same morning (225 squat), so I was happy all day about accomplishing that lol…. Overall, a great start to the last year of my 20’s (a bit creepy to say that).  I couldn’t be happier with the way our life is going together.

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Alfa Brouwerij

We set out of Brussels early-afternoon and headed toward the Limburg province of The Netherlands, specifically for a very cool small town, Schinnen.  Schinnen’s home to the Alfa brewery- a unique, family-owned brewery that still uses underground spring water in producing its beers.    It’s the only brewery in The Netherlands that makes beers in this way.

We barely arrived to the brewery before they closed.  There were a lot of local Dutch folks hanging out, drinking, laughing and having a good time, and they were happy to see us.  Everyone in The Netherlands is so damn friendly (and TALL… I looked puny next to them haha).

The bartender poured us a couple of pils out of the tap.. and didn’t want us to pay for the beer!  haha.. he was a nice old-timer and refused my Euros for the beer- so I bought a couple of Alfa beer glasses from him just to thank him.  Overall it was a fun experience, although short… We made it with just 15 minutes left before closing.  So we’ll have to head back some day to take a tour and what not.  Highly recommended place to visit and have lunch if you’re ever in Limburg.

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The pils is so smooooth.. You can really taste the natural spring water difference.  It went down like distilled water haha..

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I don’t know exactly what this used to be used for…. it looks like an espresso machine, but in a brewery??  

Maybe an old bar tap (or whatever the terminology is).

Maastricht

Maastricht is a short and easy drive from Schinnen.  We always have fun on the road together 🙂  Our first moments in the city were a relief..  Why??  The WATER!! haha..  There’s a massive river running through the middle of town which brought on a nice breeze to fight off the sun.

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The city was jam packed full of tourists- it turns out Andre Rieu was in town, performing his annual summer concert series.  He’s a national hero in The Netherlands- everyone loves him- but I’ll also say that R and I probably brought the average age in the city that day down about 50 years lol….  Honestly I wish we would’ve known he was performing, we might have gotten tickets.  Anyhow, enough about the concert we didn’t go to see…..

Maastricht is one of the oldest cities at least in this part of Europe.  That part alone is interesting… but what sets it apart from all the other old stuff/cities in Europe is that it’s CLEAN and well taken care of.  Brussels let itself go a longggg time ago; conversely, Maastricht does a great job of incorporating modern life with the past.  (I know I slam Brussels a lot… I don’t care.)

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The Red Tower…. so frickin’ cool!  haha… So unique to see some historical site with color.

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As is well-known about the Dutch already, is their preferred way of getting around: bicycling.  Honestly, I admire them for it.  They choose bikes to keep the streets open and clean- and for other reasons, I’m sure.  But despite the thousands of tourists in Maastricht this weekend, I could count the amount of cars/trucks I saw on just my two hands.  Just imagine if all these bikes in the photo above were replaced by cars.  Congratulations, you just dreamt what Brussels is like!  haha…

These photos above are really special- click them to see the full-size picture.  Anyhow, we stumbled upon this bookstore built right into an old (I mean OLD) church.  I had no idea how they acquired the space, but it’s fascinating how they built the bookshelves right on top of the old crypts, on up to the arches.

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Well that’s about all I have to share for this day-trip.  It was one of the most memorable birthdays I’ve had.  Spending the day with R, drinking beer and exploring was about all I could ask for 🙂

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