After Amsterdam we took a day to visit with Justin’s family, sharing dinner and lively conversation at his Aunt’s home. It was so wonderful to hear family stories and shared memories. A quiet day gave us a chance to get our energy back before our next outing and adventure: Utrecht.
Confident Traveller Tip: Consider taking a gentle day to relax and drink in local life when you travel. The world is vast and we can’t see everything. Slowing down a bit here and there can help us be present with what we do get to, especially if we’re highly sensitive people!
Justin and I liked Utrecht the moment we arrived. As the day went on, we realized it was the cultural vibe of the city that was drawing us in. Later we found out that Utrecht has the second most cultural events in Holland after Amsterdam. It’s also home to the largest university in Holland and several other institutes of higher learning. We were even approached by film students who were set up in the middle of the street to interview people about their relationship to time. Too bad we didn’t have time to stop, LOL!
Having said that, our exploring in Utrecht was very relaxed, wandering here and there and discovering beauty everywhere…
From elegant statues to a giant runestone! This is a replica of one of the the Jelling Stones and was gifted to Utrecht University celebrate their 300-year anniversary in 1936. As a Canadian, that means the university is older than my country!
Beside the runestone we found a beautiful arched entryway leading to the Pandhof garden of the Dom Church.
Dating back to 1390, this beautiful spot has no doubt welcomed centuries of quiet reflection and deep conversation.
However, for deep conversation, we went out for a beer! I think we managed to stop for a beer in just about every place we went in Holland. One of the things that was quite different about Utrecht was the lower level canal and these interesting restaurants a level down by the water.
Of course, the area did have a few scallywags!
The shops in Utrecht were charming and though I don’t tend to do much shopping when I travel, this one had me stop and walk back to it after I caught sight of some beautiful handmade mugs. Thanks to my lovely father-in-law Chris, I brought one home. Now my morning koffie can bring me back to Holland anytime.
Jamie, I love to see photos of your trip. I am also working on building confidence as a traveller. One thing I’ve noticed is that I don’t have to wait for confidence before hitting the road. My curiosity propels me and confidence grows as it is needed. Of course, there’s nothing like having a bold travelling companion to remind me when I am playing it too safe :)
It’s so true, Johanne, that we need to step into the adventure in order to grow – and it’s the desire, the curiosity, the wonder that pulls us forward like the sun. Here’s to flexing our travel muscles!