Netherlands
Utrecht

Here you’ll find travel reports about Utrecht. Discover travel destinations in the Netherlands of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

36 travelers at this place:

  • Day22

    On the Rails Again ...

    September 10 in the Netherlands

    GROANS: The laundry wasn't free before we went to sleep last night so John got up in the middle of the night ... climbed another flight of stairs ...and put out load in then. It's an all in one machine ... it both washes and dries! I went to get it at 7:30am and it was still damp!! 😬 And so ... I started the dryer again!

    GAHS: We had contacted our host twice over the past two days to see if we could have a later checkout (it was 10:00am) but had not received a response. So ... we panicked a bit ... hoping that we could get things dry and packed in short order ... and ... decided to get coffee and breakfast at 8:30am ... and check again on the laundry after that. Seemed like a great plan!

    GRATITUDES: We headed off to a little spot we discovered yesterday that offered an American Breakfast for $4.95. They had humungous coffee cups and with 4 creamers ... it was just perfect! So ... we decided to go back again this morning. John had another apple pancake ... and well ... make no mind of the pile of creamers by my plate. I traded John my speculaas (they always give you a cookie with your coffee in Holland!) for his four creamers. I mean ... it's a BIG coffee! I think I made a great trade! 😁

    GRINS: Since we couldn't check in until 3pm in Utrecht and it is only 30 minutes away ... so ... we envisioned ourselves woefully sitting with our backpacks for 4 hours at the train station. BUT ... while we were at breakfast ... our host responded that we could check out whenever we wanted!! JACKPOT!

    GIFTS: So ... we got an extra half a day that we didn't anticipate to wander and wonder and while away the hours with new freedoms! And .... it is sunny and bright! 🎁🎁🎁

    We spoke before about how many of the buildings have tipped forward ... but they are also built to lean a bit ... because you can't barely get your bags up the staircases ... never mind your couch or your washer and dryer! And so ... they have hooks and/or pulleys on the front of the buildings to hoist the furnishings up and the little lean makes it so that the furniture doesn't hit the building on its way up!

    GAFFAHS: Along our travels, we noticed a sign indicating NO bicycles ... and yet ... the lane was littered with them. See what I mean about Amsterdam being laid back. 

    GROANS: We were intrigued to see them doing construction without safety precautions! They had multi-levels of scaffolding and no one was harnessed in ... and they were lifting all kind of things up the front of the building ... not using the hook or pulley!

    We enjoyed the leisure of the morning ... John even enjoyed a nutella waffle with whipped cream!! And then, we went back to check on the laundry about 11:30am ... feeling guity that we had left it so long ... AND ... it wasn't DONE!! So ...we went for a sandwich. Certain it would be dry and ready afterwards so we could get to the train station by 1:00pm for our train!

    GRIPES: NO! It was still not done. And ... the thing is ... with these machines, you can't just unlock the door! I'm panicking a bit now. Our laundry has been in the machine now for 12 hours ... and ... we aren't sure how to get it out! And we have a train to catch. So ... my hubby resorts to Google!! Thank goodness they saved the day and we got our clothes out ... eventually!! He was my hero in that moment for sure!!

    And so ... we headed off to Utrecht by train. Somehow we ended up in first class ... but had second class tickets. Guess what? We stayed there ... for the whole 30 minuted ride. We would have moved if they had asked us ... but ... not until!
    And then ... after a one kilometer hike to our accomodation ... that felt like 14 kilometers ... we got checked in and went for a refreshment! We ended up at the corner pub ... and had such a great visit with the proprietor and his one lone customer! They were so kind to us ... they didn't even charge us for our beer and wine! Wow!! Where does THAT happen?? Utrecht. Yep. Utrecht. They also pointed us in the right direction so we could get some groceries. We already loved it here!

    We thought we'd head out for a small bowl of soup ... so we took Trip Advisor's suggestion for SLA. Turned out to be a mostly vegetarian health food restaurant ... yes ... it was very green. They smuggly smiled when John asked if they served croquettes. Anyway ... he ordered the gazpacho and enjoyed the ginger lemon tea ....with a slice of raw ginger and slice of lemon in it! He's not ever eaten in a health food restaurant before!

    GAHS: Oh my ...and on the way there ... we had our life in our hands trying to navigate the streets with all the bicycle traffic!! We were chuckling about what to call an onslought of bikes . .. is it a gaggle ... a pod ... a swarm ... a heard ... or ... as my husband determined: "a pedal-flock". Yep. Those pedal-flocks are silent and treacherous ... they come at you from all directions and you can't hear them coming!!!!

    One of the things about travelling for weeks in a row like we are doing is that we have so many sights to see and our days are chalk full of 'doings'! We are looking forward to a little more opportunity for simply 'being' in Utrecht before we hit the rails again with lots of things we'd like to see and do in Paris!

    And so for now ... as long as we can avoid the "pedal-flocks" ... we are going to take it really easy for the next couple of days. A little bit more R & R is top of our list. So ... good night for now ... talk to you tomorrow!
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  • Day23

    We don't yet want to leave you Utrecht!

    September 11 in the Netherlands

    GAHS: We were so tired last night that we were nicely tucked on bed by 8pm. And ... John was still sleeping at 8:00am this morning. Who knows how long he would have snoozed had I not accidentally woke him while trying to make a coffee on a completely unfamiliar Nespresso machine!! I'd been up for an hour ... and was trying to be both quiet and patient ... but ... a girl can only go so long without her morning coffee.☕

    GRATITUDES: And ... after a couple of tries ... I figured out how to use the coffee machine!! And, we had bought cream at market so I was all set! We are really enjoying our accommodations here in Utrecht! They even have a Miele washer and dryer ... and an induction stove top and a combo microwave/oven for our use! But sadly ... there is no toaster. Perhaps it's because here in Holland they serve soft bread with food rather than toasted bread?? Or maybe if you want crispier bread you can eat rusk?? I'm not atall sure ... but we were sure happy to have a coffee in our pjs and be able to cook a nice breakfast in our room! 🍳

    GIFTS: Oh ... I forgot to mention ... when we were at the market buying our breakfast supplies ... we got a bottle of Pinot Grigio for $3.59!! And it was good!! I'm encouraged that wine might be more affordable from now on in our trip! 🥂

    And so ... as we were thinking about how we wanted to spend this day ... we chatted about the possibility of renting bikes. It sounded really good in theory ... relaxed and happily pedaling through Utrecht while taking in all of the sights. But .... as you noticed in the video from yesterday ... you really need your wits about you to pedal the paths here!!

    GROANS: And my anxious mind filled the potential for challenges: staying upright ... getting lost ... keeping my eyes on the roads and the scenery (not likely!) .... crossing the streets carefully ... not causing an accident ... the sore buttocks ... not falling off ... not taking out a pedestrian ... being on the wrong path ... holding up other bicycle traffic because I'm too slow ... keeping up with my hubby ... argh!! The more I considered the realities ... the less appealing it sounded. 🙄 And so ... we opted to descend the ladders at the canals and see more of Utrecht on foot! 👣

    GAHS: We also decided to book a train from Paris to Barcelona! And then we headed off to find some lunch. We traipsed around where we are staying ... and although there were many, many restaurants in the neighborhood ... not ONE of them was open! Sheesh! Finally we saw a Subway Sandwich shop and I had my first sub abroad! It was good!

    Just across the street, however, was an open square with a number of restaurants. John had a snack plate of a Dutch delights ... but it might be his least favorite food choice in our travels yet. 😕 So ... he set it aside and ordered some croquettes ... knowing it might be his last chance to have them ... and much to his pleasure ... they were one of the best he has had yet!! 😋 But ...we had no IDEA what was about to happen!!

    We headed home to do some more planning for the days ahead ... booking tours and flights and rooms ... and after we were done, we headed back out to our neighborhood to see what might be open for supper! And ... we hit the JACKPOT of JACKPOTS! We found our way to " 'tZusje" ... which is a most remarkable little tapas restaurant on the Oudegraght canal! They preferred we eat indoors for fear of rain ... but John really pressed to stay outdoors. Monique, our server, was most lovely ... and ... allowed us to have our wish. And, it was perfect ... because ... as another one of the server's so wisely noted; "if you sit inside, you don't even know which country you are in!" So true! So we sat alongside the canal and enjoyed the very best tapas we have ever tasted!!!

    And so ......... the verdict is in ... and it is unanimous!! Utrecht has provided us with our very best taste experience in our travels thus far! The tastes and the falavors and the experience was so magnificent!! Honestly ... probably going to be one of our favorite memories of this trip!

    And ... we capped it off with four desserts in honor of our grand daughters 10th birthday!!

    Honestly ... we are not ready to leave Utrecht quite yet! There are still many stones left unturned for us in this lovely place!! We have been well blessed with our time here!

    And, tomorrow ... we are off to Paris! We'll talk to you then ... :-)
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  • Day25

    Utrecht

    April 2 in the Netherlands

    Wir wurden sehr herzlich und fürsorglich von Tedi und Ludwig in Utrecht empfangen. Da wir keinerlei warme Sachen mit hatten (s. vorheriger Blogeintrag 😒) wurden wir erstmal mit dem europäischen Klima passenden Jacken vom Bahnhof abgeholt. Nachdem wir uns mit einem Kaffee und einer Art Osterstollen gestärkt hatten, zogen wir nochmal los, um das idyllische Zentrum von Utrecht zu erkunden. Da wir einen kleinen Hunger bekamen, kehrten wir in eine als Bar umfunktioniere Kirche ein und snackten leckere niederländische Spezialitäten und belgisches Bier. Auf dem Heimweg kamen wir an einem Rummel vorbei und dachten uns, dass man mal so ne kleine Runde auf dem Karussell und mit den Autoscootern drehen könnte (sollte man viel öfter machen) 😁🙄. Als Abendessen gab es passend zu Ostern einen sehr sehr leckeren Lammbraten mit Offenkartoffeln und Böhnchen - ein richtiges Festmahl nach dem nicht so spektakulären Flugzeugessen. Danach spielten wir bis in die Nacht eine Partie Phase 10, aus der Tedi als Gewinnern hervorging. Wir hatten einen wirklich schönen Ostersonntag und guten Ausklang eines wundervollen Urlaubs.Read more

  • Day4

    Out and about in Utrecht

    August 2, 2017 in the Netherlands

    Utrecht is about twenty-five minutes out of Amsterdam by train. It's a small university town with a population of about 300,000 people, with a fifth of the population being university students.

    There's a certain charm about the city, which Jason fell in love with as soon as he stepped outside of the train station 🚄 🚉 . Similar to Haarlem, there are fewer canals and people than Amsterdam. There's definitely less tourists!

    Wondering the streets of Utrecht made for a nice relaxing day. We ended the day with a canal boat 🚣 tour, getting a glimpse of the main attractions of the town: Churches (kerks), docks, an old prison, walls and houses.
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  • Day245

    Utrecht, The Netherlands

    January 13 in the Netherlands

    We spent a week with our friend Judith in her hometown of Utrecht. Utrecht is a beautiful city full of old townhouses built around canals - think Amsterdam without the tourists. The main mode of transport in the Netherlands is cycling and we quickly followed suit spending our days riding around the city. It was fun seeing how tall the Dutch are (especially coming from Southeast Asia) and our bikes on the lowest setting were too tall for me and Andreas. We had fun cooking dinner at Judith’s house, meeting up with our friend Tjarda from NZ who cooked us a wonderful Dutch meal, ice skating, and meeting Judith’s friends. One day we rode into a local forest and ate lunch at a famous pancake restaurant (very Dutch). We even gave Andreas his first IKEA experience including the hotdogs. What a treat!Read more

  • Day90

    Utrecht for the Weekend

    August 4 in the Netherlands

    Nancy and I pedaled to Utrecht for the weekend. Nice 60 mile round trip. We passed lettuce and cactus nurseries along the way. Plenty of empty dry canals as well. The drought is really taking its toll. The path along the river Vecht to the north of the city is just gorgeous. Castles, mansions, quaint farmhouses and windmills the whole way. The green along the river lasts until the final two or three kilometers before the center of the city. Lovely ride.

    Utrecht is a very pleasant small city to the southeast of Amsterdam. Canals run through the center. The city doesn't share many of the edgy characteristics of Amsterdam, but we did run across a few oddities. The railroad building has a UFO stuck to its side. No one could tell us the reason for this. We also ran across the gestolen steen (stolen boulder) which is chained to the corner of a building. Wikipedia states that "This boulder appears to be mentioned for the first time under this heading in a charter from 1520. [1] De Gesloten Steen is credited with acting as a chimpanzee." [1] I'm still unsure of what this is referring to. Dutch humor perhaps.

    A primary reason for our trip involved a story that Grace had shared about having a penpal in Utrecht when she was a teenager. She remembered the street name 'Johan DeWittstraat' and the number seven. We found the street, just a block long, with a mere 10 address numbers. It was pretty strange standing in front the home, looking up at the windows, and imagining a 16 year old lad sitting in there writing letters to Grace Stuckey of Alliance, Ohio back in 1946/47.

    Saturday afternoon we wandered the city with Augie. We loosely followed an architectural tour that we'd sourced online. Lots of buildings dating back to the 1200s. We ended our tour at tge Dom Cathedral where we took in an organ concert.

    Nancy and I enjoyed two delicious dinners over the weekend. Both were right by the canal. The first sharing a pizza loaded with gorgonzola and accompanied by a hearty shot of Jack Daniels and the second with friends Sjoerd, Marta, and Rene followed by ice cream. Augie joined us too.

    Life is pretty good these days...
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  • Day163

    Day 164: Utrecht

    July 28, 2017 in the Netherlands

    Another busy day today! Early drive into Amsterdam to drop off the car, then a train south for an hour to the city of Utrecht. Thankfully my train went directly past our town, so Shandos hopped on my train and met me on board!

    Utrecht is a medium-sized city south of Amsterdam, and I didn't know much about it until arriving. I guess I still don't, but it's a nice spot with lots of canals winding around and old historic buildings. We checked out the cathedral and grabbed an early lunch of sandwiches in a trendy cafe, then headed for the Centraal Museum where they had a few displays about the history of the city and stuff.

    But the main reason we were here was a UNESCO World Heritage Site (of course), a modernist house on the outskirts of the city. Our tickets included free bikes from the museum, so we hopped on those and cycled over, thankfully only about 10 minutes! It's great cycling around here, drivers look for you, expect you and respect you, and the roads are clearly designed to cater for cyclists. Lots of fun and very easy.

    The house itself was great - built in the early 1920s as a private house, in what was known as "Der Stijl". Very modernist, with lots of straight lines, primary colours, minimalism, and great use of space. The architect was more of a designer, and some of his old furniture was still inside. Interesting to see how his ideas about negative space (thinking more about the space inside a chair than the space the material occupies) was reflected in his house design as well.

    We filmed a bunch and did our tour, where the highlight was upstairs - a fully open-plan area. This was unheard of in the 1920s! It came with cleverly hidden sliding wall panels to create three private bedrooms and a lounge area, which was quite ingenious.

    Filming done, we headed back to the museum and dropped off our bikes, then walked back to the station and caught the train back to our houseboat at Abcoude. Since I'd driven to Amsterdam with the car in the morning, we only had one bike at the station. I drew the short straw and walked home, 25 minutes in all but thankfully it didn't rain! Spent the evening editing videos as we've just done six sites in four days and I suddenly need to start catching up!
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  • Day3

    Mary K hotel & Amsterdam

    June 13, 2016 in the Netherlands

    Mary K is a boutique hotel with a tiny street sign - blink and you'd miss it. Breakfast looks nicely sourced but expensive and not big so we repaired to Hema for a bigger breakfast which at €2 is popular and hard to beat.

    Train to Amsterdam, Resistance museum, boat trip, and Anne Frank House (not pre-booked so had to queue for an hour).

  • Day27

    Utrecht, Niederlande

    May 5 in the Netherlands

    Auf dem Weg nach Utrecht bin ich an einem Oldtimer treffen vorbei gekommen. Hauptsächlich waren es alte amerikanische Autos.
    Natürlich gab es auch mal wieder Eis, das musste sein, da ich bestimmt schon drei Tage kein Eis mehr gegessen hatte.
    In Utrecht angekommen hatte ich erstmal Schwierigkeiten mich zurecht zu finden. Ich habe es aber sehr sehr genossen durch die, meist für Autos gesperrten oder wenig benutzen, kleinen Straßen zu laufen, im regen Getümmel des Samstag nachmittags.
    Die Pommes waren wirklich sehr lecker und machen auch sehr satt. Allgemein ist Utrecht eine eher schöne Stadt mit ihren kleinen Gassen, den Kanälen und dem vielen Grün.
    In Utrecht werde ich bei Davide schlafen, einem guten Freund der Familie. Seine Frau Marjie und Kind Elin sind gerade in Deutschland.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Utrecht, أوترخت, ܐܘܛܪܝܟܛ, Utrext, Горад Утрэхт, Утрехт, Ουτρέχτη, اوترخت, Utert, אוטרכט, Ուտրեխտ, UTC, ユトレヒト, Gemeente Utrecht, უტრეხტი, 위트레흐트, Traiectum ad Rhenum, Utrei, Utrechtas, Utrehta, Утрехт хот, उट्रेख्त, ယူးထရက်မြို့, یوترخت, Utreque, Magaalada Utrecht, ยูเทรกต์, یوتریخت, Utreht, 烏德勒支, 乌得勒支

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