The beauty of being in Maastricht is that there seems to always be something happening in Maastricht. Last night proved to be one of those wonderful nights that only got better as it went on.
Things started out a bit lazily in Avant Garde, with the lot of us wanting to do something, but not within the walls of our residence (which we have been doing with great frequency). While gathered around our table in the dining room, I randomly blurted out “Lets go ride!” And with that, we threw on weather-appropriate clothes, pulled our shoes on, and saddled our bikes. We were off!
We had no intention of really going anywhere; we were there purely for the ride. It reminded me of being the typical American biker, one who rides his Harley Davidson for the mere sport of it. That’s the same feeling I felt and I enjoyed it immensely!
It wasn’t all peaches and cream though. Poor Michael unfortunately had his brakes brake just before we even departed Avant Garde. We decided to have him in the front of us, mainly for the sake that if we (Manon, myself, and Cyrille) needed to stop quickly, we would get a rear-full of Michael and his bike. But thankfully, there was no serious “OMG WE NEED TO BRAKE NOW” moments during our cruise through Maastricht.
We cruised on into the city and parked our bikes near the city hall of Maastricht, then set out on foot. Our walk took us up very near Hogeschool Zuyd, my university, but we rounded back away from that location and continued on into an area I had yet to travel to by foot. Along the way, we came upon an electric concert/”picnic” that we had heard about from others back in Avant Garde. With curiosity, we came into the setting and found it to be a bit dismal and dull, not much to our likely. In the time it takes you to finish reading this paragraph, we departed once more and continued on.
We eventually circled back to the city hall, where our bikes were located, when we ran into Stefania, a friend of ours from Avant Garde (and a Romanian native). We learned from her that a classical music concert was set to begin very soon in Vrijthof, but to Stefania and her friends, they weren’t very interested. But to the lot of us in our merry band, we were greatly interested in seeing the action, so off to Vrijthof we went!
As we came closer, the sounds of some sort of band could clearly be heard. Perhaps the concert had already begun, I thought. Not the case! A community marching band was making their rounds around Vrijthof, playing catchy marching tunes that delighted me to no end (being a veteran of two marching bands over the course of 8 years).
As the band marched their way around, the four of us moved on into the main square of Vrijthof, where a large stage and full orchestra was waiting patiently to begin their music. Several TV cameras had been set up around the area; clearly this was to be a televised event, but to what station/channel I did not know. Before long, a speaker took to the stage and began speaking of the opening of the World Cycling Championship, which was (and currently is as of this writing) to begin in Limburg, the region of the Netherlands Maastricht resides in. The female speaker went on, eventually being joined by another individual, and finally the president of the WCC organization. Languages were jumping around from Dutch and English, so I had a bit of a time trying to follow all that was being said, but I am grateful to say that I’m beginning to understand more Dutch, thanks in part to watching the mannerisms and expressions of the speakers involved.
Eventually the speakers departed, the conductor took the stage, and the concert began! The music itself was primarily classical in nature, but synthesizers, electric strings, and awesome lights were some of the highlights of the concert – namely a quartet of female electric violinists and cellist proved to be delightful (Strings 4Ever being the name of the quartet).
All in all, the evening was practically a perfect one to be had. Once the concert had finished, we trudged back on to our bikes, our feet and legs sore from standing for over an hour without rest. But who’s to complain for such a good night of a random time?