Today we took a day trip from Amsterdam to the city of Utrecht to see the Dom Tower, Old Canal and Market Vredenburg.
I woke up on my birthday still reeling from severe man flu. But like the last few days in Amsterdam, I soldiered on and we made our way to the train station. Our destination for a day trip was the city of Utrecht.
Utrecht is the fourth biggest city in the Netherlands with a population of around 350,000.
The train journey only took us 35 minutes. Once we arrived and I managed to get the wife through the gigantic Utrecht shopping mall without too much damage to my wallet, we started to explore the city.
After emerging from the shopping centre we arrived at the amazing Market Vredenburg.
This open air market attracted mostly local people and offered delicious looking food such as cheese, fish, fruit, vegetables, meat, savoury items and chocolate.
Each stall also had food tasters out too that allowed you to try before you buy.
Luckily I didn’t try too much food in the market, as to get out of the rain, we entered a cafe called Anna Pancakes.
As well as a coffee, the wife and I decided to share some cinnamon pancakes with maple syrup. They were absolutely devine.
We then wandered down Utrech’s main shopping street towards the Oudegracht, or as it translates, Old Canal.
This pretty canal runs through the centre of Utrecht and is flanked by historic buildings, restaurants, bars and shops on both sides.
If you regularly read my blog, you may know that we always like to get a good city view. The Dom Tower gave us this opportunity in Utrecht.
This tower is 368 feet in height and was built in the 14th century. But the cathedral was never actually completed. In the 17th century the nave collapsed in a storm and the Dom tower became a free standing tower. They never rebuilt the nave as they thought it was an act of God and they were being punished.
Scaling the 465 steps up to the top of the tower was horrific with my potent man flu. I thought I was hallucinating when I saw two people dressed as jesters with blue face paint on. But my wife assured me that they were real.
The views at the top were decent enough, but were partially blocked by scaffolding unfortunately. We could see much of the city and Utrecht’s football stadium in the distance.
The trip back down was equally as gruelling, but much more slippy because of the rain on my shoes. We nearly took a tumble at one point!
Evening meal at River Kwai
After indulging in a beer or two in some fine Utrecht public houses, it was time for our evening meal.
We decided on a Thai restaurant called River Kwai near the old canal. I opted for a mixed starter platter and king prawns with chilli and onion for main. It had so much flavour that I didn’t want it to end. The waitress even gifted me a random orange for my birthday.
With the day drawing to a close we made our way back to Utrecht train station to get back to Amsterdam.
We had a great day in Utrecht and I would like to spend more time here one day, but without the rain please.