Utrecht

IMG_2610I’ve wanted to go to Utrecht for a while, ever since I found this Guardian list of top places to visit this year, and Utrecht was one of them.

It seems quite fashionable to visit the 2nd, 3rd or even 4th city in a country now. It’s like you’re saying ‘I’m so cool I don’t even visit the obvious places when I go somewhere’.

Consequently the hip place to go becomes Utrecht rather than Amsterdam, Porto rather than Lisbon, Brisbane rather than Sydney or Melbourne, etc, etc.

Not for the first time in the Netherlands, I looked around and thought what a great place to live: 'I could get a bike and cycle everywhere'

Not for the first time in the Netherlands, I looked around and thought what a great place to live: ‘I could get a bike and cycle everywhere’

Actually, Utrecht wasn’t a bad choice. It has a very relaxed, laid-back feel and comes over as a very liveable city, although you’d have to pick it up and dump it down in the middle of the Mediterranean for me to seriously consider living there. I was lucky with the weather; most of the year it could rival London for rain and grey skies.

Utrecht was the start for the Tour de France bike race this year, and the city is not letting us forget that. I was there just a couple of days before the kick off (pedal off?).

Tour de France

Tour de France

Even the trees were getting excited about the Tour de France

Even the trees were getting excited about the Tour de France

The city is dominated by Dom tower (really you can see it from just about anywhere). This is, apparently, the highest church tower in the country. There are 465 steps if you want to climb to the top. In the 33 degree heat on the day I visited, I didn’t.  However I read later that you can see as far as Amsterdam from the tower, so maybe I should have made the effort.

Dom tower

Dom tower

Instead I wandered into the Cloister garden next door.

cloisters

cloisters

Still numbering my remaining days in London..

Still numbering my remaining days in London..


Meanwhile, my time in London is getting shorter and shorter and I’m still no nearer to getting the flat ready and rented out.  I’ve now resorted to threatening legal action against the Freeholders for failing to maintain the building, but meanwhile it looks like I’ll be setting off to America without having secured a tenant, which will mean an expensive trip back in November and three months of ‘lost’ rental income.

17 replies »

  1. Wow how lovely does this look? When I first left school the company I worked for had a lot of dealings with suppliers in Utrecht and I can remember as a naive 17 year old of having no idea where it was. This was obviously in the days prior to Google. Alas, I never got the opportunity to visit it but maybe, who knows, one day I may.

  2. The best compliment I can pay the city is that I looked around and thought ‘I could live here’. I fancy the image of myself cycling everywhere, although the reality would be very different I fear.

  3. Oh wow, picutres are lovely. I could see myself living there too. Hope to visit one day, maybe when I finally get around to backpacking all of Europe.

  4. I, also, really want to visit Utrecht. I’ve heard so many good things starting with the fact that a friend told me it’s like Amsterdam without the tourists. And a student city which means lots of places to have fun. Looks very nice from your photos as well. I am sure the cathedral is even more stunning in person.

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