A Long Weekend in Liège and Maastricht

We needed to get the heck outta Dodge. Well, I did. With no travel from Mallorca until last weekend, it felt like we hadn’t been anywhere in ages. Don’t get us wrong, we’re enjoying the new place. But a whole lot of work intensity and no change of scenery to break it up made for a very real need to escape for a bit.

So here’s what we did:

  • drove to a Ferienwohnung1 in Liège, Belgium
  • dug up Belgian grub there
  • trained it to Maastricht for a day
  • drove back to Regensburg

That helped.

Our FeWo was in the Fragnée neighborhood — with a couple sandwich shops and a big grocery store nearby and an easy walk to Liège’s central station, Guillemins.

Fragnée Neighborhood Liège

The station was impressive during the day, but other-worldly at night. It reminded me of something out of “Encounter at Farpoint.

Guillemins Station Liège
Guillemins Station Liège
Guillemins Station Liège

Our landlady recommended a couple nearby restaurants, but none were able to accommodate us on short notice without a reservation. So we followed our noses2 to Namaste India, not far from the train station. Expecting MEAT AND POTATOES from Belgium later on that weekend, we tried to get our vegetables on with some of our favorite vegetarian dishes. And it was quite good.

Namasté Liège

Getting some frites from a frites joint downtown with a line out the door, we spotted this dish:

French Fry Baguette

Yeah, that’s for real. And it was a popular choice among the locals: 4 or 5 others got the same order.

After our first night, we were able to get a table without a reservation at Au Concordia. It was a little fancier than we expected, considering its proximity to the train station, but we didn’t feel out-of-place in our weekend clothes compared to the other tables. We were very impressed with the MEAT AND POTATOES here. Star of the show: the green peppercorn creme sauce, which was great on the fries, the boiled potatoes, and the steak.

Rumsteak, Frites, Boulettes at Concordia Liège
Central Liège

Liège was pretty, but kind of weird. We’ve been to plenty of places that have a mix of old and new architecture, but that’s usually been due to aerial bombing (see Nuremberg, Berlin, etc.). This felt like it was on purpose.

Construction in Liège

I wonder if this construction crew above has read the book below.

Dutch Shade

We spotted that book at the Bonnefanten Museum in Maastricht. Getting there was a cheap and easy half-hour IC train ride from the space mushroom in Liège. On the way, we needed some coffee and pastries. Enter Limburgse Vlaai.

Limburgse Vlaai
You can bet we’ll be seeking out recipes to replicate that at home.

It was kind of a long walk from the Maastricht central station to the Bonnefanten Museum, but the weather was nice, and we wanted to take advantage of that.

Bonnefanten Museum Maastricht

We were pleasantly surprised by the contemporary exhibit there — Cai Guo-Qiang : My Stories of Painting BACA 2016

The whole top floor of the museum was devoted to the career of the artist and his family — several members of which are talented in their own fields.

Before leaving Maastricht, feeling pretty MEAT AND POTATO‘d up, we picked out a highly-rated Indonesian restaurant. We were lucky to get a table without a reservation — the place filled up around us. We ordered a vegetarian Rijsttafel3. All the otherwise-meaty bits were supplanted by tofu in various forms. It was all delicious and an excellent contrast to the pervasive MEAT AND POTATO cuisine in Liège.

The next day, we got up a little earlier than otherwise, breakfasted on some supermarket findings from the day before, and had an easy drive back to Regensburg to face the onslaught again.

  1. vacation apartment []
  2. actualy, TripAdvisor []
  3. Not just rice, but also noodles! []

Recap: November to Yesterday

Time is flying.

Dang. Not yet a quarter into it, and this year is flying by already. After our inconvenient-but-still-lovely Mallorcan long weekend last year, we returned to Regensburg to get to work on our new digs. We’ve learned a lot about wiring and installing ceiling lamps, and options for furniture, and some life lessons about paint contractors.1

Let’s see, what’s been going on? Continue reading Recap: November to Yesterday

  1. Hint: when they tell you to buy paint, get their estimate IN WRITING. Anyone need some teal or lavender paint? []

A week in Eastern Italy

October was a big month for us. Really big. Yuge Enormous, even.

  • We went on vacation at the beginning of October.
  • We moved from our beloved literal island in the Danube onto a figurative island in the city.1
  • I changed jobs and office buildings at work.2
  • We went on vacation again at the end of October.

It’s almost the end of November now, and it feels like we’re still trying to catch up from October. We’d planned this trip many months in advance, coordinating with my parents and their friends in several different countries, and so bailing or rescheduling it to let us concentrate on our impending move across town and adjustment to a working kitchen again was not an option. Not that we wanted too, anyways — after getting the details mapped out with the new landlady and previous tenants in our new place, it was good to get away from a stressy bit at work. Continue reading A week in Eastern Italy

  1. More on that later, maybe. []
  2. Same boss, same employees, but new, old, and different stuff for me. Probably no more on that, ever — here at least. []

Bridge Update, Sep…um…October 2016

On the Move

We’ve been busy, like everyone, of course. We’ve been concentrating on the resolution of a small real estate drama, and trying to squeeze progress in that area around not one, not two, but three vacations planned out in advance. But that’s all coming to an end REALLY SOON. Continue reading Bridge Update, Sep…um…October 2016

Signal instant messenger app — now on all my platforms!

This is my White Whale: a messaging application I can use securely on any device I own, mobile or desktop, and any device my recipients are likely to own.

Recently, Open Whisper Systems released the iOS version of their Signal application that allows users to synchronize contacts and messages to a desktop application running as a Google Chrome app. Finally! I can send a message typed in through a full-sized keyboard and it will arrive on Sarah’s iPhone, or my parents’ Android phones, or any of their computers. It will arrive securely and without anyone or anything scanning it for marketing or surveillance purposes. Continue reading Signal instant messenger app — now on all my platforms!