📸 — Urmond, Sittard & Maastricht, Netherlands

So another travel friendship story here.

We met Koen and Suzann while exploring Prague. They had a three week Europe adventure and a passion for craft beer. We meet at a Prague craft beer tour (the civilized version of a pub crawl).

We really enjoyed hanging out with them that night and they told us about Oktoberfeest in Sittard. They said it was a really big deal in the Netherlands, and that if our travels brought us to their nick of the woods, we should join them.

So we did a little detour down to the south and got to experience something pretty incredible. To start, the people of the Limburg province LOVE to dress up and are famous for their partying skills during Carnival which is a festival the week before lent (40 days before Easter). They also are some of the most welcoming and considerate folks when it comes to experiencing the south.

Koen and Suzann looked at some of Maeghan’s dutch treats she posted on Instagram and bought them all, and some more for her to enjoy when we arrived. They also coordinated our costumes for us to fit in for Oktoberfeest and showed us around some of the highlights of the area.

They were so wonderful and we had the best dutch detour in the South.

See more on our website www.alittledetour.ca🌏✈️👫
Koen picked us up from the train station and took us to our first windmill up close and personal.
We also visited the original sea port which used to be a major economic driver of the region. You could say that it’s former glory is long gone. The concrete tiles are all that are left.
Urmond is the village they live in with a population of a little over 3,000 people.
Across the street from their beautiful home is the Belgium border. So we took the drone for a ride to see across the border.
Across the water is Belgium!
This is the town of Urmond. You can see their house from here!

When we got back from our flight I mentioned to Koen that Wall-E the drone had an accident and lost his leg during his 3rd flight in New Zealand. Koen had a 3-D printer and actually made Wall-e a new leg so he looks almost brand new! :D

Fly is a traditional food you eat with guests or on special occasions. We were told not to call it a pie.. so I shall say it is more of a tart :)

After dinner, they booked an escape room in Sittard as an evening activity. Maeghan is super competitive and really wanted to win. But this escape room was intense, there were flashing lights, tunnels, secret rooms and hidden (tiny!) attics you had to walk through.

We are truly skilled and managed to get to the end, but during our last and final puzzle, all the lights went off, a huge fan turned on and loud noises started blasting….

I don’t think Maeghan has yelled that loud in a long time…

Long story short, we beat the escape room and had 10 min to spare! Everyone was stoked.

Now the day we had all been waiting for… Oktoberfeest. Suzann and Koen found us some outfits to wear (the Lederhosen is actually from Eindhoven) so we definitely looked the part!

We got to the tents early, mostly seniors had started drinking. But there was a great band and beer to kick off the activities.

This is us making a plan on how we were going to coordinate eating wurst, watching a parade and making it in time for the party in the Oktoberfeest tent.

We waited a little while in the square hoping the parade would start, but about 45 min after the starting time a marching band came out (a very popular pastime is being a part of a marching band) and were followed by tractors, dancing cars, horses and 20 other marching bands with various outfits!

Wurst game was strong.
By the time we got to the party tent, things were already happening.
This German band was playing when we arrived and they were bomb.

They played popular music with their full band — trumpet, guitars, keytar and more! They also had a band member who looked exactly like our friend Guillaume, and Oli couldn’t stop laughing.

Then the adult man boy band came out and Maeghan lost her mind. She didn’t know any of the songs (they were in German), but LOVED their coordinated dancing.
Maeghan didn’t get the memo that Duckface is never appropriate on social media.
On the walk home, we found a pharmacy called Smulders! Maeghan had to get a picture.

We also tried Kapsalon, what would be best described as the Dutch version of a poutine, at the end of the night. At first we were skeptical if it would be as great as our beloved Canadian poutine… but pleasantly surprised how great it is! Replace the gravy with garlic sauce, add lettuce and shawarma, some veggies, and there you’re set.

After a few hours of sleep, we woke up and headed to Maastricht for a short walk around town.
The weather is unreal. We’ve had 23+ degrees every day and its mid-October!
Suzann took us to a beautiful book store that is in an old church. We walked around and admired all the books and saw some familiar titles, but in dutch!
See more on our website www.alittledetour.ca🌏✈️👫