on my merry way to the Netherlands!

Utrecht Travel Blog

 › entry 23 of 44 › view all entries
I caught a bunch of trains and a bus and found myself in Utrecht Centraal, where I was meeting my friend Maarten whose house I would be crashing in for the next 4 days. We stayed in a tiny hamlet called Hazerswouedorp, its beautiful farm country. The house was on a block of land surrounded by canals, so essentially an island! We had to use small row boats with engines (I call them dingys) to get to the road where we parked our bikes. By the way the Dutch really do have it all right, cycling is great fun and the whole country is dead flat - I felt right at home!

Though my first Dutch biking experience was trying to sit on the luggage rack and balance a bag, I didn't let that discourage me. For those who dont know, I will (just this once) admit that my general co-ordination skills aren't that great. Nonetheless, I only fell off a few times and I managed to save my dignity, although the snide comments about all the nice HEAVY food in France were not appreciated!!

30 LONG minutes later: We got to the shed where the family keeps their bikes and hopped in a boat. This part of the Netherlands is just so picturesque, I felt like I was walkig around in a postcard. There were canals and a windmill and various farm animals. At the house we were greeted by Pake (said Barka) the family dog. He was very cute and affectionate and made me homesick for my dog Honey! We had a nice light dinner of antipasto salad, I tried the Bleu cheese and it wasnt that bad, but I stayed far away from the anchovies.

Then we decided to go out to a house party, I had forgotten but for most Europeans school is almost or has finished for summer and heaps of people have parties to celebrate! So we rode our bikes (of course) into the town and just about halfway it started to POUR with rain. Not just that but thunder and lightening too! We werent too keen on riding bikes in a thunderstorm but we figured may as well go forward as back. Needless to say, we arrived at the party soaked. Very embarrassing for me, I looked like a drowned Kat!

It was pretty fun, as parties where you dont know anyone or speak the language go. His friends were nice and the music/food/drinks were good. but it ended pretty early at 1am. Also, it was one of the only parties (bar my younger sisters) that Ive been to and felt OLD some of the kids were 15 or 16! Most people headed to another party but we bailed and rode/swam back into town to a bar called Quirelle. The bar was packed and the music was loud and slightly annoying (I think the thunderstorm put me in a bad mood) so I didnt enjoy it that much. We left pretty soon after, which was a bit disapointing for Maart but all I could think about was how NOT fun it was going to be getting home! I survived and I count my first night in the Netherlands a success!
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photo by: krysleigh