zephyr illusions photo by donna October 1992. The view atop Chasseral, Jura Mountains looking across Switzerland to The Alps on the horizon. Fog, intensely thick, rising from Lac Bienne and stretching its fingers high onto the Lignières-Plateau de Diesse after wholly filling the valley below the plateau.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

European Adventure 2005 Day 6

today i left Amsterdam and headed off to Utrecht. lol, what should have been a 40 minute/45 kilometre drive turned out to be 2 1/2 hour/90 kilometre drive! why is it that i've not had much trouble driving from point A to point B in Ireland and the United Kingdom, but driving in The Netherlands is tremendously difficult for me?!? lol, i guess it's because of the language barrier and the fact that the Dutch squeeze sooooo much into so little space. i've got to think of appropriate punishment for that Dutch guy who told me that having a car would be beneficial. :p next time i come here, it's definitely going to be trains, trams, buses and bicycles for me!!

Utrecht is an ancient town with lots of historical interest, especially as a religious center. i took an exploratory walk into town this afternoon and got lost for almost 7 hours. saw lots of the town along my way... old town, new town and residential neighborhoods... even saw a windmill in the middle of town somewhere!!! it was very cool to round a corner and there ahead of me was an old windmill standing watch over the street.

another sight which dominates Utrecht is the Dom Tower. what an incredibly beautiful piece of marvelous architecture! i stood for quite awhile just gazing in awe at the Tower and the remaining section of the old church, which is quite huge, btw. i may be a bit silly, but as i stood looking at such impressive grandeur, i was swept up in a wave of emotion and had to choke back the lump that was rising in my throat and blink away the tears that began to well up in my eyes. i don't know why, but i was overcome with intense emotion standing there in the shadow of such an ancient and grand building. i'm not much of a religious person, but i swear i felt the glory of what god put into mankind to be able to create buildings of such stature.

after my 'religious experience', i found a table at one of the numerous outside cafes and had a late supper of broodjes ham (ham sandwich) and a biertje (small beer) and got directions back to my hotel from a friendly local couple.
sleep felt good after a day of being lost by car and by foot :)

5 comments:

  1. Good that you found the windmill :)
    Another option, there is a railwaymuseum somewhere. It is supposed to have a lot of old trains (have not been there for many years..). If you are into trains.. it should do the trick for you.

    Did you see the irish pub across the street from the "windmill".

    And you can climb the domtoren if you feel like it..same as you can climb the Martini toren in Groningen.

    Maybe something to do on your trip :)..

    I must admit, having lived in both cities (utrecht and groningen) for about 5 years each.. i have still not climbed any of the towers :(.

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  2. oohh, bedankt voor the suggestions :) climbing the Domtoren is on my agenda for Thursday :) i'll check into the railway museum, too.
    it was way cool to accidently find the windmill, i took a bunch of photos while trying not to look too much like a tourist to the local people passing by me. lol, don't think i suceeded, though. didn't notice the Irish Pub.... too bad or i would have had a pint there.
    hehehe, i totally understand it that you've not climbed the historic towers even though you live here. i'm much the same way about special things in my hometown. i always think i'll do it someday, but never seem to. but, that's a bad way to think.... for example, wish i would have seen New Orleans like i've always wanted to do. now it's too late :/
    if i can get a good photo from Domtoren, i will surely post it! :)

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  3. Driving a car is certainly different here in the Netherlands.. Probably more traffic than in your home town :)

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  4. oh, yeah, there is more traffic here than in my hometown. also, here, people drive really fast at all times!
    a big problem i have is that Dutch roundabouts have more lanes and exit spurs going off of them than do the roundabouts in Ireland and the U.K. lol, i can navigate a roundabout driving clockwise on the wrong side of the road in a car with steering wheel on passenger side, but i'm hopeless when trying to navigate a normal car on Dutch roundabouts!

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