A Travellerspoint blog


Utrecht, Delft and the Hague.

View CJTaylors 2010 Europe trip on CJTaylor's travel map.

We arrived in Utrecht and walked to our accommodation after getting a bite to eat in the city centre. Because of having difficulty finding accommodation in Utrecht, the day before we booked a hotel slightly above our budget being 79 euros for the night. Called Hotel Mitland and located just outside of the city next to a lake, we had a relaxing stay there with our room overlooking the lake. It also helped having access to the sauna, steamer and pool, and a complimentary rubber duckie which has since been posted back to Australia. Utrecht is one of the oldest towns in the Netherlands with 13th century canal wharves below street level, and the home of Dick Bruna the author of Miffy the rabbit. It was quite busy in the city centre because it was market day. But outside of the city it was quiet with flower markets, large boulevards and miniatature sheep in pastures. The next day we took the train to Delft for a 2 night stay. Our interest in Delft came from Delftware, the artist Johannes Vermeer and the book about the painter - Girl with a Pearl Earring. We checked into the Soul Inn, whose owner lived in England during the early 1970s and who is a bit of an ex hippy, with the decor of the B&B being inspired by that era. Our room was Titanium, with absolutely wild wall paper -

The owner was friendly and we had access to a coffee machine in the foyer where music of the 1960s and 1970s was played. In Delft we went to the Het Prinsenhof museum which gave us a better understanding of the Netherlands history, the split between the Catholics and Protestants, the Nassau and Orange royal lineage. It was enjoyable walking around the beautiful city and canals, looking around the town square and in the new and old church. On our second day we hired bicycles and rode from Delft to the Hague. We spent most the day riding around the city parks and green spaces, past residences of the rich and royals. It took a little getting used to the Grandma style bikes but they were actually better and easier to ride than the mountain bikes we hired in Britain (even with 3 gears).

Before talking a bus from the Hague to Brussels, we went to the Mauritshuis Museum which was a really well presented art gallery with Vermeers Girl with a Pearl Earring and View of Delft paintings.

Posted by CJTaylor 06:35 Archived in Netherlands


View CJTaylors 2010 Europe trip on CJTaylor's travel map.

We arrived into Amsterdam via a bus we caught from the ferry terminal. We headed straight for the tourist office at the Centraal Train Station in order to find accommodation. After about 1 hour we managed to book accommodation for about 70 euros a night, a canal tour, tickets to the Anne Frank Huis (house) and transport cards for 48 hours. After checking into our hotel, we went out for lunch which was pizza at an Italian restaurant. After lunch we walked along the canals to the city centre for a couple of hours, orientating ourselves to the city. Amsterdam took a little to get used to at first, it is a busy city with cars and bikes seeming to go in every direction in a chaotic fashion. The footpaths seemed to have been sacrificed for bike lanes, so whenever you walk you feel like you could be run over. It is a beautiful city teeming with canals, Renaissance and modern architecture. The beauty of the city was further seen during a canal cruise which took us through the new and old parts of the city, showing off some of the best aspects of Amsterdam, such as the 16th and 17th century buildings and bridges, numerous houseboats, the canal gardens, and tradtitional sailing boats. We also went to the Anne Frank Huis. This building is where Anne Frank and her family hid from the Nazis from 1942 to 1945 in an annex of a jam factory that her father originally owned. If you have read the diary or watched the 1950s movie this museum is great as it shows the rooms that the 2 families lived in for 3 years. We found Amsterdam easy to get around and to communicate in, as almost everybody speaks English. The city quickly grew on us and by the time we left we did not want to go. However, we made plans to explore the country, so on the morning of the 4th of September we left Amsterdam.

Posted by CJTaylor 06:16 Archived in Netherlands

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