Easter Sunday the whole Dutch family got together to tour Utrecht an old beautiful city! The city center is full of canals and restaurants, which reminded me of the San Antonio Texas river walk, only more sophisticated.
My Aunt arranged a canal boat tour which was really interesting. More fun than the Amsterdam canal tour that we went on 10 years ago!
It was the first real sunshine we’ve had on our vacation so far, and I think the locals were enjoying it as well!
Unfortunately by the time our tour was done the gray skies were back. BUT Utrecht is so gorgeous it doesn’t need blue skies to make it romantic and interesting! You’ll notice the empty street in the photo below (on the right) … because it was Easter Sunday all the shops were closed so it was really quiet everywhere. Actually the empty streets made nice for photos and easier visiting with the family!
We walked all around the city, exploring little alleys and neat old church gardens:
The main focus of the city revolves around Domkerk and Domtoren- the largest church tower in the Netherlands. It has amazing Architecture!
The photo on the left below is of the floor; old gravestones from the 1300-1800’s all worn smooth from so many people walking on top of the stones over the centuries.
We actually got to climb 465 steps to the very top of the tower. Let’s just say the stone steps become narrower and narrower, and the spiral at the top is so tight and steep you feel yourself starting to panic that you are going to fall down all the steps and take the whole tour group with you. SCARY!!! The view on top was quite spectacular though – until I realized I’d have to do DOWN those 465 steps again, lol!
You’ll notice the church has one brick wall that shows where the section between the tower and church collapsed in the 1600’s. It was a poorly built section because they ran out of funds to finish the church, so it was built with wood instead of stone. Instead of rebuilding they decided to make a courtyard between the church and tower.
Safely back at the bottom! It boggles my mind that this tower – started in the 1300’s, is 400 + years older than my country!! Sooo bizarre.
After our tour we ate Pannekoeken at one of the canal restaurants and enjoyed some really good family time! I personally like the Pannekoek met Spek (ham) and Stroop (a type of dutch syrup that tastes very different than american syrup). Yum!! I was so hungry I forgot to take a photo of the meal, which is too bad since it is so very Dutch.
Well, that’s it for today, more posts as I find internet. ; )