Parental Visitation

First set of MSc exams FINISHED! I won’t say they were easy, but I’m pretty confident I didn’t do too dreadfully. Naturally, the whole MPP cohort celebrated with a massive piss-up at the Highlander bar where we drank them out of both gin and tequila.

It’s a lovely, crisp, sunny October day, and I’m feeling surprisingly non-hungover considering last night’s antics. Just as well, really, because my parents arrived in Maastricht at some point last night, and today we have plans! We’re going to Maastricht’s finest vineyard (yes, the Netherlands produces wine). it’s about 3 miles away from the city, and we’re walking. But first: waffles.

On the way, we went through the Stadspark where I posed with my childhood hero, D’Artagnan. He can assault me with his big sword any day.

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Also in the Stadspark is the weirdest/creepiest sculpture installation/exhibition I have ever seen in my life.


It’s in an old bear pit and I think it is supposed to symbolise endangered species or animal cruelty something. So dutch.


The rest of the walk to the vineyard was very scenic. We passed rivers…


…Vegetable patches…


…and pumpkin displays!

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Before seeing the sign we had all been waiting for. THE WINE IS NEAR.

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The vineyard is called Apostelhoeve and sits at the top of a small hill (an enormous mountain by Dutch standards). The views of the surrounding countryside from the top are stunning. Well worth the hike. The large barrels are also very comforting. Wine.


Somebody directed us into one of the buildings where there was a nice woman sitting at a table, desperate for us to taste all of her lovely wines. We obliged her. The wines are all white, and there are 5 different types, the Auxerrois, the Müller-Thurgau, the Riesling, the Pinot-Bris and the Pinot-Gris Barriques. We tasted all of them, and my parents bought a case of 8 different ones. The Müller-Thurgau was probably one of the best white wines I’ve ever tasted. I normally prefer red, but this one really was fabulous.

Here are my parents posing gleefully in the courtyard with their wine, obviously very happy with this morning’s purchases…


We then walked back from the vineyard towards town, stopping for hot chocolate and bitterballen on the way. When we got to the city, there was something going on in the Vrijthof (main square) and we were met by the most unexpected sight of a horse and cart thundering towards us.


That evening, my parents took me to Evita, an Argentinian steakhouse that I walk past every day on my way to class but am always too poor to eat at. It was gooooood.

Thanks Mum and Dad for an excellent day out!

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