Team Dressage Hafl on the way to Aachen - Part 1: Maastricht, The Netherlands

Not the worst place to stay overnight
Today started with a little delayed flight from Klagenfurt to Cologne - once again showing me that flying will never be my preferred method of traveling.

Tiny airport, tiny gate, tiny air condition
Goodbye Klagenfurt!
Anyway, we arrived safely in Cologne almost on time (though starting super late...) and it only took forever to get to the rental car. After successfully finding our SMART forfour (HUGE car I tell you - ask Stephan, when he tries to park this monster truck you would never guess its real size).

Had to make the picture LARGE otherwise you would not even see the car..

We headed west - direction Maastricht, Netherlands. We literally passed Aachen and saw already signs of the Championships! How exciting! And we saw the first horses right after crossing the border.


There it is - the first road sign to Aachen show grounds

And the first bunch of horses

After a good 1,5 hrs drive thanks to afternoon traffic around Cologne and endless construction work ongoing, we reached the beautiful Buitsplaats Vaeshartelt - OMG what a nice location for our first overnight stay! It is a castle with a huge park around including water, sheep and more water and more sheep. And cows. We made a quick walk through the park and after that headed to the city center of Maastricht. Actually, we were looking for HEMA, one of my favourite shops to buy cakes but a) we were pretty helpless in finding it and b) when we found it it was already closed. But by then we had seen almost everything Maastricht city center can offer. A bit disappointed, we went to Burger King for coffee - what a bummer.

THAT is an alley




Ok, used the superlative already! The main building, home to the restaurant...

The park...

More water in the park

In advance, I checked out Trip Advisor and it said that Harry's was one of the best restaurants in town - so I booked a table and at 9 we eventually had dinner there. And it was the MOST AMAZING DINNER ever (I mean look at the pics below!).

Hotel Beaumont and Harry's restaurant

The Aan Tafel Charity Menu


Main course - never had such a tender meat before - EVER!

Could not even finish the desert - hardly ever happened before!

It is pretty impossible to move now but we need to hurry to get to bed as we have a pretty busy schedule tomorrow - driving to the city again and buying some Dutch stuff I like and then going to Liege, Belgium.

More pictures and reports to come!

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