Further exploration of Utrecht

I love Utrecht. It is a lovely town and a short train ride away from me. There are lots of restaurants and things to do. I often walk by the Domkerk when I visit. The Pandenhof is the cloister adjoining the church.

The famous Domkerk
The famous Domkerk
Corridor off the Pandenhof
Corridor off the Pandenhof
Pandenhof
Pandenhof

Utrecht also has several canals. There are cafes along many of the canals. One of my favorite wine bars overlooks a canal. At some point I want to rent a boat to tour along the canals.

canal
canal
Relief along a canal depicting Icarus
Relief along a canal depicting Icarus

I am a huge nerd (no shocker to those of you who know me) and I love museums. The Speelklok Musuem is pretty cool and one of the more unusual museums I have visited. They have a variety of mechanical music devices from music boxes on up to precursors of the jukebox. You can still see speelkloken in town markets and festivals all over the Netherlands. The ones in town are usually the size of a keyboard and operated by one person. I love listening to them as I go about errands in town.

Phonoliszt Violina at the Speelklok museum
Phonoliszt Violina at the Speelklok museum

Nijntje is one of the more famous Dutch residents; she’s been around since the mid 1950’s. Her name comes from the Dutch word for little rabbit (konijntje). English speakers know her better as Miffy. I totally missed it last time I was there but there are Nijntje traffic lights in Utrecht. There is also an adorable Nijntje store in downtown Utrecht.

Nijntje Pleintje - English speakers know her as Miffy
Nijntje Pleintje
Nijntje aka Miffy
Nijntje aka Miffy

Clubbing

Recently, a friend invited me along to a club (discotheek) in Utrecht. I was really excited since I love to dance but rarely have a dance partner. (It had been 10 years since I had last been to a club of any kind.) The club had several rooms, each room played a different genre. During really popular songs, everyone would sing along. I was a little surprised when YMCA played and no one did the hand motions. Maybe the hand motions are just an American thing. There weren’t as many Dutch songs as I expected (most of them were English/American songs that I knew). It also surprised me that smoking was allowed in the club. Overall, we enjoyed ourselves and plan to return.

Dance floor at the club.
Dance floor at the club. It was really dark, as you can see, so most of my photos didn’t turn out.

Utrecht

One of my favorite cities nearby is Utrecht. It is a charming city with canals, good food, and lots of things to do. It is pretty obvious why so many people choose to live there.

Recently my husband found a charming wine bar, Vino Veritas, that we just had to try. All the wine and food is imported from Italy. We’d been missing having a nice wine bar nearby.

Lekker eten en buiten zitten.
Lekker eten en buiten zitten.

The Dom is a lovely place to visit.  It has a freestanding tower and a charming little garden courtyard, Pandhof. I thought I had taken more photos of the Pandhof but I can’t seem to find them. That just means another trip is needed for more photos.

Last flowers in the Pandhof garden by the Dom.
Last flowers in the Pandhof garden by the Dom.

As much as I love the city, it does have one downside: it’s a challenge to figure out how to leave the central train station. The train station has lots of restaurants and shops – essentially it is a mall with a train station at the center. Cool but somewhat annoying. I am getting better at navigating it though.