We planned the Netherlands trip around a Bruce Springsteen concert at PinkPop, a music festival going on during Pinkster weekend every year since 1970. Unusually fair priced (we also saw the Hives, the Specials, Seasick Steve, and 8 other acts on our day ticket), even the food tickets were reasonable (although the food sucked…€2.50 for a beer seemed fine, though).
Maastricht is a little city in the conservative southern Dutch province of Zuid Limburg, full of students and bars and tourists largely from Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands. When I last visited in 2001, hardly anyone spoke enough English for me to communicate (but my rudimentary German and French kept me from starving lost in town). This trip it was hot and sunny and everyone spoke English to us as soon as we tried to use Dutch.
On Sunday, the convention centre near our hotel had the annual Eerste Pinksterdag Vlooienmarkt (flea market) and we had a wander around since the rest of the city was locked up (save for the bars and some restaurants). I got the clock, here, for €20; it was running a little slow but I think I got it adjusted.
As the Specials note, though, “it’s later than you think.” We continued to enjoy ourselves the rest of the weekend before heading back to Amsterdam for my birthday pancakes, and stashing the little pipe I brought along for this trip near the RAI Station.
This was my first overseas trip since moving to Swindon and the Advertiser publishes photos of idiots holding up a copy of the paper in foreign lands (a segment called ‘Where in the World?’). I got in two of these but they haven’t yet been published: