Posted by: travelrat | October 6, 2010

Exploring Maastricht

Maastricht: 12th July 2010

It was just a short taxi-ride from the railway station to our hotel. First task was to find some lunch. Not a difficult task; the Market Place is lined with outdoor cafés, bars and restaurants. You just sit down at a vacant table, and see which one the person who comes to serve you comes out of. So, I’m afraid I don’t know the name of the café where we had a beer and a toasted ham sandwich.

Every fifteen minutes, the music of a carillon marked the quarter-hour, and a statue guarded the entrance to the Market Square.

Hey, I swear that statue’s on fire!’ I said.

 

It was; the statue, holding a flaming torch, is in tribute to Jan-Pieter Minckeleers, a Maastricht native, who invented the gaslight. And, he’s even more spectacular in the dark.

Next, to the Vrijthof, where the concert was to be held the following night, to ensure we could easily find the way there … and arguing whether the beautiful lady who sat near us at lunch really was soprano Carmen Monarcha.

Well, we found the Vrijthof all right … looking like a kicked-over ant’s nest. The previous night’s concert had been brought forward, so as not to clash with the World Cup Final, then moved to an indoor location, because it was feared the afternoon sun would be too much for the audience. And, here were the crew, trying to put everything back where it should be.

But, in a nearby building, all was peace and tranquillity, for here was an exhibition of paintings by André Rieu’s son, Marc. We liked them; colourful, bright and bold without being garish. And, the gentleman who overheard us saying so, and thanked us was Marc Rieu himself. I suppose this might come under the heading of ‘shaking the hand that shook the hand …’

Visit André at www.andrerieu.com and Marc at www.marcrieu.com


Responses

  1. Hi Keith,
    Sounds absolutely wonderful, I love the statue, that is such a good idea the flaming torch for the person who invented the gas light. It certainly does look stunning.
    Wow Marc Rieu, that would of been a nice addition to the evening.

    • I am surprised that my guide-book devoted a scant half sentence to him; didn’t even give his full name, I had to Google it.

      (However, even André Rieu only got a paragraph … compare that with what a guide-book to Liverpool would have devoted to the Beatles! :D)

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