3 places you will love about Maastricht

“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things”    –    Henry Miller

Coming back to a city which we have already visited is a way to rediscover it. Getting lost among its streets once again allow us to see the place in new light and to pay attention to little things that were overlooked during our first visit.

Have you ever had the feeling of rediscovering a city?

We had that feeling during our last visits to our beloved city of Maastricht. The city surprised us in different ways every time we visited it, allowing us to discover new amazing places. Here you can see 3 places you can´t miss when you visit Maastricht:

1. Selexyz Dominicanen bookstore

In the year 1294 this antique church belonged to the dominicos, during the second world war this place turned into a hospital.

After it was abandoned, the town hall of Maastricht sold it to a company which built a three floors bookstore.

Walking around its hallways the visitor can find tourists taking pictures, book lovers, a cafeteria (to enjoy both, a good coffee and a good book) and renowned authors signing their last novels to their fans. Those are the main reasons why this place is considered as one of the most impressive bookstores of the world.

 

2. Saint Servatius basilica

This huge basilica is formed by cute stained glasses and an impressive altar. However, I would like to recommend you to look down to the floor, so that you can appreciate the maze located in one wing of Saint Servatius basilica.

Here you can find a post that we wrote regarding the history of Saint Servatius labyrinth. We hope you enjoy it!

Maastricht

 

3. Plein 1992

This time we would like to ask you to look down again, since you can find here a commemorative monument of the Maastricht Treaty.

It is said that the treaty took place in the city of Maastricht due to its proximity to the german and the belgium border, which provides the city with an european atmosphere hardly to find in other places of europe.

Close to the monument there is a modern bridge from where the view of the city is amazing.

Maastricht

Each time we visit our Dutch neighbours means a new discovery. Therefore we love traveling to the Netherlands and spending the day walking among its antique buildings.

What about you? Have you ever surprised yourself by rediscovering a city?

3 curiosidades de Maastricht que no te puedes perder

“Nuestro destino nunca es un lugar, sino una nueva forma de ver las cosas”. Henry Miller

Regresar a un lugar que habíamos visitado anteriormente es una manera de redescubrirlo. Perderse por sus calles una vez más nos permite verlo con otros ojos y fijarnos en detalles que antes habíamos pasado por alto.

Alguna vez habéis tenido la sensación de que esa ciudad que tan bien creíais conocer os ha vuelto a sorprender?

A nosotros nos ha pasado con nuestra querida Maastricht. Nuestros últimos viajes nos han enseñado otra cara de la ciudad que queremos compartir con vosotros. Aquí os dejamos 3 curiosidades de Maastricht que no os podéis perder:

1. La libreria Selexyz Dominicanen

Antiguamente, hacia 1294, pertenecía a los Dominicos, durante la segunda guerra mundial fue un hospital y, tras su abandono, el ayuntamiento de Maastricht la vendió a una empresa que construyó, en el año 2005, una impresionante librería de tres pisos.

En esta iglesia se mezclan habitualmente amantes de los libros junto con turistas que se pasean entre sus pasillos (700000 al año) y reconocidos escritores que organizan firmas de libros. Al final del edificio se sitúa una cafetería donde poder disfrutar de un buen libro y un buen café.

Por todo ello, es considerada una de las librerías más bonitas del mundo.

2. Basílica de San Servando

Este impresionante monumento del siglo XIX está formado por unas grandes vidrieras a las que acompaña un precioso altar. Sin embargo, no dejéis de mirar al suelo, ya que en una de sus alas se encuentra un curioso laberinto cuya historia se remonta a 1885.

Aquí podéis leer el post que hemos escrito explicando la historia del laberinto de San Servando. ¡Esperamos que os guste!

3. Plein 1992

Llegados a este punto os recomiendo que volváis a agachar la cabeza pues en este lugar se encuentra el monumento conmemorativo del famoso tratado de Maastricht. Se dice que se eligió esta ciudad holandesa para llevar a cabo el tratado ya que se sitúa muy cerca de la frontera belga y alemana, lo que la lleva a evocar un sentimiento europeo difícil de encontrar en otros lugares.

Junto al monumento se encuentra además un moderno puente con unas maravillosas vistas de la ciudad de Maastricht.

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Cada visita a nuestros vecinos holandeses supone un nuevo descubrimiento por eso no nos cansamos de pasear por allí.

Y vosotros, ¿habéis tenido alguna vez la sensación de re-descubrir una ciudad?

German health care system

“Bist du krank?”

Are you sick? – Get used to listen to this question almost everyday because… the weather is so crazy in Germany!

One day we wake up in a 20 degrees sunny day and the day after it is rainning and the temperature does not reach the 10 degrees.

Spring season is back!

Germans love drinking tea as a first step to recover themselves from sickness, however, and just in case this german technique is not helping you, we would like to let you know how the german healthcare system works.

German healthcare system

The german healthcare system assures universal coverage to all the citizens. Therefore the most recommended thing to do when you register yourself as a resident in Germany is to take out a Krankenkasse (a public health insurance company).

In case of unemployement you will have to carry out a fix monthly payment (between 140-160€) to the Krankenkasse that you choose. However, if you are employed, an amount of 8,2% of your income will be substracted to pay the public health insurance.

If you are willing to have more coverage you can always enrolle in a private insurance. In this case be aware of two things; the older you are the more expensive the insurance will be, and the doctors you can attend to are usually the same in both cases (with public and private insurance).

How to go to the doctor

In Germany practitioners are not associate to the Krankenkasse, so the best option, if you need to visit one, is to google it or to ask a friend if he can recommend you a good doctor.

If you are a european citizen and you are living in Germany for a short period of time (2-3 months) you can always use the european health insurance card and you won´t need to pay for the consultation.

In case you are a resident in Germany you will be asked to show your Krankenkasse card every time you visit the practitioner.

The consultation

First of all you have to visit the Allgemeinarzt (general practitioner) and then he will transfer you to a specialized medical practitioner.

Allgemeinarzt practices have also their own laboratory, in case some blood tests are required. However, if you need more specific tests the doctor will transfer you to another practicioner (in most of the cases you will have to look for one on your own, so check google or talk to your friends once again for a recommendation).

Taking time off for sickness

If you are employed you can take a day off to stay at home without going to the doctor, however, after the second day you will need to visit him to get diagnosed and to take time off for sickness.

In Germany it is really easy to book off sick at the office since they are really afraid of being contagious, therefore they prefer to stay at home instead of going to work (a time off sick due to a light cold can last 3 days).

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Medication

In comparison to other european countries Germany is really cautious regarding the selling of medical products. Basic things such as peroxide and mercurchrome are hard to buy without a prescription.

Whenever you need to go to the pharmacy visit your doctor first and ask him for a presciption. If you contract a public insurance it will take care of the costs of medicines.

Following you can find a list of the existing Krankenkassen and the private health insurance companies in Germany.

I hope it was a usefull post and you enjoy a nice spring season!

The eastern Netherlands trip

This week we are traveling to… The Netherlands!


Nijmegen

This dutch city is really different to the others in the country due to two important facts:

  • The city without channels: When people think about the Netherlands, they tend to imagine cities full of tulips and channels. Although there are no channels across the city, Nijmegen is located close to the Waal river (a tributary river of our beloved Rhein).
  • There are slopes: Yes, the visitor can go up- and downhill. Furthermore, the visitor can go to the top of the old tower to have a nice view from the whole city.

The old town maintain its charm, although the allied shelled it during the IIWW (it is said they did it accidentally). A good example of its charm is the Grote Markt, where it is easy to find a lot of people having a walk around. I recommend you to get lost in its narrow streets, to enjoy how the fishermen work and to try regional food (highly recommended if you like to eat fish).

Venlo

It is different from other cities I have already visited in the Netherlands. Its old buildings are mixed with new structures providing this place with an special atmosphere.

If you like shopping Venlo is the place to be. The old town is full of stores. Lots of well known brands have their own place here, that is the reason why it is  so common to see germans crossing the border just to go shopping to this town and to its famous outlet (located outside the city). A paradise for shopalcoholics!

I hope you enjoyed the trip!! 

#lifeisanamazingtrip