Immediately after we went to the Koninklijk Paleis in Amsterdam, Stéphane and his cousins and I got on a train bound for Utrecht, about forty minutes away. I had never been to Utrecht before and so was very excited to see this quainter version of the “big city”. Immediately after exiting the train station, I stopped and marveled at the incredible awning above us. I don’t think I had seen anything like it, though it did remind me a bit of the mushroom-inspired awning of Seville.
After getting caught in the rain several times (it really poured!!), we got undercover into Domkerk or St. Martin’s Cathedral. The cathedral was something, but what was more memorable was how the staff kept talking to us. They invited us onto the altar, to take pictures, and more. Very nice!
After that, we visited the Centraal Museum which was housing (at the time) the Rembrandt piece De Vaandeldrager (The Standard-Bearer) was being shown in celebration of its recent purchase by the government for (!!!) ~170 million euros. There was a lot of hubbub about this purchase, especially at a time of economic downturn. It was a neat painting, but still. The painting was going on a national tour so Dutch citizens could view it.
After strolling back along the canals, I was really amazed at these lower homes like little boat houses that were actually on the canal. You could take a set of stairs down to walk along them. They were so cute, although looked damp and cold. We had just missed Utrecht Pride earlier that weekend, so there was still confetti between the cobblestones.
Overall, it was a lovely day in Utrecht, and I can’t wait to go back to see some of the sights we missed.