o hai. return of the Very Bad Blogger™…so, i went to europe for about a week last december. europe at christmastime was on my bucket list, so in true gwyn-fashion (read: this doesn’t make any sort of pragmatic sense, but where there’s a will there’s a way), i made it happen.
one of my v. close friends moved to the southern part of the netherlands last year, so i killed two birds with one stone and visited her in her new city AND ate bratwurst in the open air at a german christmas market. (yeah. german bratwurst in december is the best thing you’ll ever eat. so. GO. DO IT.)
here are some images from that adventure. enjoy.(captions will be below photos)
maastricht is an old medieval city, and there is some STUNNING architecture. plus, it just feels like you’re
walking biking around in a fairy tale. i highly recommend it. plus…beer is the same price as water. HIE THEE TO EUROPE!
these two are at bischopsmolen, which is the oldest working water mill in the NL. we did like the dutch and got some vlaai and coffee.you’ve seen k (aka mini me) on here before…this was a shot i REALLY wanted…1) me on a bike 2) me with mini-me on a bike. also, i miss that hair like WHOAH. added bonus: super old church, cobblestones, and quaint street lamp.this is how the dutch do. beer and bikes. bikes and beer. and at christmastime, you can go to winterland and go ice skating or get meat grilled in the open air or buy yourself a new hat. (pictured below.) it took me a ridiculously long time before i wised up and started buying cooler souvenirs than tchotchkes emblazoned with the name of the place i was visiting…that i’d never ever use. now i buy an article of clothing or piece of art that *i* know came from that place. (please give me a break on this one…i started traveling internationally on my own quite young!)
maastricht only has one windmill. this is it. (i wanted this to be my facebook cover photo, but gosh darn those dimensional restraints and not bringing a super duper wide lens!) but hey! still me. on a bike. with a windmill. in the NL. with my new hat. (and coat bought on previous trip to europe. did you know H&M in europe has different stuff sometimes? it does.)one of the priorities of this trip was visiting a genuine german christmas market. aachen is just over the border from maastricht. i got the requisite gluhwein…ok, fine. i got 2. my original intention for the trip was to go to as many christmas markets as possible and collect as many gluhwein mugs as i could and gift them to my mom for christmas. while she loved the idea, she lacked the storage space in the kitchen for a half dozen new mini-mugs, so my frantic market hopping agenda was tabled.it was full of wooden stalls in the shadow of imposing european architecture that, when illuminated by fairy lights and garland, just felt like a nice soothing holiday hug. in addition to gluhwein and bratwurst, we also got some potato pancakes (potato fritters?) with applesauce. i picked up some not-trader-joe’s speculoos cookies as well.
aachen is home to charlemagne’s castle and the aachen dom. we popped in to the cathedral and the detail work is just breathtaking. (see below.)
not pictured (because, let’s face it, iphones are pretty good and fit in your pocket): Rijsttafel dinner with becky. the dutch colonized indonesia, and sadly, indonesian cuisine has less of a footprint in dutch cuisine than would benefit…EVERYONE (herring. need i say more?), but there is good indonesian food to be had. order rijsttafel, literally “rice table”. it’s a banquet with a wide variety of delicious dishes. don’t skip satay ayam (chicken with peanut sauce) or beef rendang (super duper tender beef curry, indonesian style.), birthday parties for new friends with too much cocktail innovation (pear juice, vodka, prosecco. you’re welcome.), more stroopwafels than i can count, liege sugar waffles…ok, yes. i basically just ate for a week.
A++ would visit again!