Utrecht – Part 2

We had a purpose to our trip to Utrecht. Though I’m sure often it must seem that we just randomly go places and see what will happen when we get there (and sometimes this is exactly what we do), I also wanted to be able to achieve my purpose today. So I was on a mission to go to the Nijntje Museum.

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Nijntje (or Miffy as most of the rest of the world knows her) is the brain child of one Dick Bruna, and as part of the Centraal Museum, you can visit his house and see how his design process works!

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However, the Centraal Museum are very protective over all of their exhibits, and cameras and photographs are prohibited. (*pulls a face*) So here I’d like you to imagine me sitting in the world-renowned red and blue chair (I was allowed to do that) by Gerrit Rietveld, while I sneaky a picture of their courtyard.

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It may have been the heat, it may have been the set up, it may have been being followed around the museum by one of the guards waiting for us to do something wrong … call me insane, but we didn’t hang around the Utrecht Centraal Museum (or that guard) for long. But with outdoor scenery like this, who could blame us for leaving the museum far behind?

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The canals were calling our names, and being all too inviting with the masses of green leafy trees.

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It’s one of the wonders of Europe for me; finding alleys that you can just walk through for hours and absorb the atmosphere and feel of the inhabtants. Though, in this case, I may need a local to explain the flying saucer to me …

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With so many cute little stairways which lead you down to the waters edge, it’s easy to spend a great deal of time just walking around Utrecht.

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Of course once 5pm hits, the sides of the canals take on a whole new life too. They are home to a great many restaurants, cafes, and bars. All of which seem like the perfect place to spend hours of time, and many, many euro!

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As our day drew to a close, and the sun was still firmly up (Yay the Northern Hemisphere!), we bid Utrecht farewell, and headed on back to the train station, where I finally managed to catch a glimpse of the giant teapot which I’d heard Flamingo tell of!

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It was a wonderful day, and I don’t feel like I’ve done nearly enough of what is available to me! For a completely different city, which is closer to us now than I used to commute to work every day, I feel incredibly neglectful that is has taken me so long to get there! It also makes me crave the adventure of new places even more! I’m fairly sure I’m in the grips of wanderlust!

12 thoughts on “Utrecht – Part 2

  1. I really do wonder about the canals and the eclectic life that must take place along them as a 24 hour period goes by – the stories that they could tell. My concern is that they all seem so dirty compared to the clear water of streams in the country and clear lake water. Do they have a litter and stench problem or is this dealt with by the equivalent of street sweepers.

    1. The canals are amazing for people watching! 🙂

      As Flamingo said, the water is constantly moving, so there isn’t a stagnant smell at all. A bit like the Yara I think. Looks filthy, but the locals will tell you it’s clean.

      Having said that I do know of a guy who (while possibly drunk at a party) went swimming in the canals of Amsterdam. He was just a bit sick with a belly bug for the next few days! 😉

  2. I’ve never noticed a smell from the canals, even in the summer. They’re not stagnant canals; the water flows fairly steadily through them, which is also why they rarely freeze in the winter.

    As for the UFO, it was part of an art installation in 2000 and it was so popular that they decided to keep it, long after the end of the exhibit. The building it sits on (the Inktpot) is an amazing piece of architecture in its own right. http://oranjeflamingo.wordpress.com/2011/03/28/inside-the-inktpot/

    I’m so glad you visited the city and enjoyed it. It really is beautiful and you saw some of my favorite spots. Sorry about the museum, though. The guards are usually friendly and some aren’t as picky about photo taking. It all seems to depend on who’s working that day.

    1. I loved it! Next time I come I’d like to make a weekend of it and get to the Speelklok Museum, and the Kasteel de Haar! (Amongst other things!) I would like to try the Museum again, I haven’t seen the viking boat yet. It’s good to know the guards are usually more friendly than that.

      Since writing the post I had found out a little about the inkpot, but not about the UFO. Thanks for the extra info! 🙂

  3. The canals and views of the city look lovely and summery.

    I had not realized Miffy had her own museum. In your opinion, was the museum still worth the visit, despite the guards? Were there exhibits enough for a long visit or is a shorter one better suited to the size of the offerings?

    1. Summery = it was _really_ hot that day! *wilts*

      The Museum was still worth the visit, and we’re planning on going back to Utrecht for a weekend visit to fit more in! Utrecht is the fourth largest city in the Netherlands, so there is a LOT to see and do there.

      1. Have you been to Groningen?! It’s really pretty and has an awesome museum!
        Maastricht is also lovely, but not very Dutch, haha. It always feels more like I’m in a different country when I’m there ^-^
        Oh, and have you been to a Waddeneiland?!? I can highly recommend Terschelling and Vlieland! Haha ^-^

      2. Eeep!!! 😀 Too much information all at once! 😉

        I have a list of things I need to see, and all of those will unfortunately have to be added to the end of that list.

        So far we have (in no particular order); Delft, Rotterdam, Den Haag, De Efterling, Alkmaar, with regular(ish) return visits out to extended family and friends in Raalte/Zwolle.

      3. I used to live in Alkmaar! It’s pretty and cute, but the other places are more worth a visit I think, Haarlem is similar but waaaayyy better =)
        Oh, and put de Efteling on the top of any and all to-do lists ASAP!!! ;D

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