Utrecht

Utrecht (Or: Our second try)

Marco and I went to Utrecht on Saturday. We had previously gone to Utrecht last year but we made the mistake of visiting on a Monday — most shops tend to be closed or have reduced opening hours on Mondays. Plus the weather was bad and their was construction around the Domplein so it was not quite what we hoped.

This time it worked out for the better. Marco and I had train ticket vouchers (dag weekend vrij / one weekend day free pass) that needed to be used this past weekend. We first stopped at the VVV office (a tourism office) to pick up a €5 walking tour booklet.

Here are some of the pictures we took along the way:

World war II statue in the Domplein Utrecht

A statue on the Domplein commemorating WWII. Behind is an image against the side of the wall, but it almost creates the illusion that you are looking inside the church itself.

Actually in the place where the statue currently is you could previously find the nave of the church, but that part of it was destroyed back in the 1600s.

Pandhof in Utrecht

(Above) Also in the Domplein, you have the Pandhof, a garden area dating back to the 14th-15th century (restored in the 18th century).

Domkerk in Utrecht

The Domtoren (towers) – from a bit further away. It rises above the city, and if per chance you are standing in a spot where it can not be seen, more than likely it can be heard. The church bells were all but continuous when we were in the area.

Academic building Utrecht

Academicgebouw, Utrecht University

Above you have the main academic building of Utrecht University, built in the late 19th century.

Tour de France 2015 sign in UtrechtIf you didn’t know the Tour de France was starting in Utrecht this year, well, now you do. 🙂 Stage 1 and stage 2 will be held in the city.

Guiness sign UtrechtAnd finally, Marco’s favorite joke of the day:

“Every time I hear that dirty word exercise I wash my mouth out with beer.” / “Elke keer dat ik hoor dat vies woord ‘exercise’, was ik mijn mond met bier.”

 

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Canals and flowers (Or: Visiting Utrecht)

A few weeks ago Marco and I visited Utrecht. For various reasons it ended up not being quite what I expected but that can be chalked up to two things: the weather wasn’t that great and we went on a Monday, when a lot of things ended up being closed. We mostly stayed in the center of the city and looked at stores (board game stores, comic book stores and similar) rather than doing too many cultural things. I do wish we could have stayed until it got dark, though, as I would have been able to see the Trajectum Lumen. At night certain areas of the city are artistically lit, with guided tours provided on Saturdays.

I did get some good pictures, though. Here are a couple:

canal in Utrecht

Utrecht canal, typical Dutch bike in the photo frame

stairs down a canal in Utrecht

stares down to the canal level on Oudegracht (a main street in the central area). A lot of restaurants are at canal level, so you take the stairs down to reach them.

flowers in Utrecht

close up of some flowers in Utrecht

Its a present store in Utrecht

Items at “It’s a Present” gift store

It’s a present” was actually a pretty cool gift shop even though we didn’t buy anything. It had some really random items for sale, including what you see above. The only negative was that the shop was small, so they had to expand vertically – there’s technically three small floors, but sometimes the stairs can be a bit tricky to navigate.

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