Monday, May 28, 2007

Orange People, Day 3: Utrecht

For Vron, who is apparently unsatisfied with castle images: me, with world's largest and oddest vegetarian salad. Nothing quite like ordering from a Dutch menu when your only Dutch consists of "thank you, vegetarian, chicken."

On Monday we went on an adventure with Ro and Narelle from Den Bosch to Utrecht, which is only about a 40 minute train trip. As you will see from the educational and informative link, Utrecht is the Netherlands' fourth largest city, with a population of a whopping almost three hundred thousand. Are these Europeans kidding, or what? That's not even a "city" in Australian parlance. TRY COUNTRY TOWN.

Utrecht was actually quite a suprise for me. In addition to the usual canals, of exceptional prettiness in this case, it is quite an old town, viz:

The pointy thing is the tallest clock tower in the Netherlands, or so we were told by the enterprising ladies at the tourist info shop. It has 400+ steps, which unless I am being evacuated from a skyscraper (unfortunately not that rare an occurence) I tend to avoid. I have a good excuse: I'm LAZY. Also, we got to Utrecht a little late and because Hungry Loz had by then taken over, we missed the tower's opening hours in favour of feeding me. A sensible choice on everyone's part might I add, and also one leading to the salad above. Theoretically, if we had gone up said tower we would have enjoyed panoramic views of the flatness as far as the eye can see. Next time? Perhaps after they install a lift?

We took advantage of the terribly pretty canals with a canal ride. We were disappointed at first that the boat had a roof (albeit clear), but then it started pissing down, so good forethought on the part of the canal tourism enterprise. Grant got some pictures of his favourite birds of all time. And a billion other photos of canal-related things, which start around here. Really, I have seen lots of canals at this point, and these were up there.

Then, on the way home, I had a strawberry flavoured milk drink IN A CAN, and later Rohan and Narelle fed us our first meal in several days that wasn't solely comprised of fish and/or accompanied by chips. Very tasty. It was, in short, a good day.

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