Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Rabbit Hill via Utrecht

Karen and I took the little ones on a camping retreat in the Netherlands for 2 nights and 3 days. On the way to our park we stopped in Utrecht. This little town had been on my to-see list for a while. I am smitten with Dutch towns. They seem curiously similar to one another, yet I still want to see them all! Although Utrecht is admittedly more of a big city than a small town.
We stopped in Utrecht for lunch, hoping to dine in one of the little cafes down along the river walk. It was just like in San Antonio the way the stairs led to the riverbank promenade (just more chilly than Texas!) We managed to hike down the steep stairs with kids and strollers to a recommended vegetarian fusion spot. It smelled delicious and our mouths were watering and stomachs growling. After several minutes passed though we realized we were the only patrons there and the owner didn't seem to take much notice of our hungry brood. I went up to ask her for a menu and she said she didn't have any food today. WHAT?!?! Oh me. All we could do was laugh.
Back up the stairs we hiked. Feeling weak we grabbed some frites to tide us over (how very Belgian of us) and continued our search for lunch...Yep, we were definitely in the Netherlands:

Bicycles, check.
Canal through the city, check.
Flowers, check.

Utrecht is home to the largest university in the Netherlands. Pretty colorful, creative student housing!
We finally found a whimsical spot for tomato soup and a cheese plate. Unfortunately, but typically, the weather turned while we ate and started raining.
Wading through the rain we made it to Dom Church and Tower, the tallest church tower in the Netherlands.
The most interesting part of this cathedral is the tower and cathedral are no longer connected. While the nave was never completed, the part in progress was destroyed in 1674 during a fierce storm. The work never resumed. Kinda odd to walk up to see the tower completely separate of its church!Even with rain and the failed restaurant attempt, Utrecht made a fun and vibrant lunch stop.

No comments: