This was the last full day of our fabulous trip. Tomorrow morning we leave for home. It was a nostalgic day for Jack, visiting old friends and places from the past. We left early for the central station to take the train to Utrecht. Our plan was to see the city where Jack used to live and the building where he lived. It is one of the largest cities in the country, about a 40 minute train ride from Amsterdam.
It was a pretty chilly and gloomy morning so we weren’t sure what the weather had in store, luckily it turned out to be our nicest day here yet as the gloom burned off and the sun came out. When we got to Utrecht, we left the train station that was new since Jack lived there and started to walk. It became pretty clear to me that he had no idea where he was and didn’t recognize a thing. He admitted as much and we asked a passerby where the city center was and we had come out the wrong side of the train station and he didn’t recognize anything because basically none of that part of the town existed 25 years ago!
When we found the center, he had his bearings and we walked through the streets he remembered, some with the same shops that had been there years ago.
This is one of the many canals in the city center.
We walked a few more blocks and Jack was able to find the building that he had lived in here. The upper three windows on the right were rooms in his apartment.
Although it does not look that old, Jack says it was built in the 1600’s.
Our last selfie of the trip (I think)
We walked through the Saturday market in Utrecht and found some yummy treats that we had to sample for later on the train.
We jumped back on the train after our whirlwind Utrecht visit to meet Jack’s friends in their hometown of Amersfoort. It was about a 20 minute train ride.
This is the outside of the train station there.
Here is Jack with his friends Rob and Suskeya. He worked with Rob at Exabyte when he lived here.
Rob and Suskeya were so kind and gracious to us. They picked us up at the train station and took us to the city center to walk around and enjoy their lovely city and the perfect weather. We ate lunch at a plaza restaurant outdoors. The city is medieval (my favorite!) and so had many old, beautiful buildings. The picture above was taken in a church that had stones on the floor signifying the burial of important persons in the church dating back to the early 1600’s.
After a walk around, we then did an activity that they had arranged for us that cemented them forever in my plus column, a boat tour of the canals! Those of you who know me, know I love the water and I never met a boat ride I did not enjoy, so this was just the perfect choice.
It’s always so interesting seeing a place from on the water, it just gives you a different perspective, doesn’t it?
This is one of the many tunnels we went through. They were ancient and very small.
Here is our full boat. I wanted you to see how low the ceilings were in the tunnels.
These were the original walls of the city of Amersfoort. The water tunnel had a wooden door that would come down and seal off the water entryway. We went under it in the boat and you could see where they had built the niche in the brickwork to allow for the door to be raised and lowered.
Another lovely view of one of the canals from the water.
After our boat trip, it was getting on 4pm, so we said goodbye to Rob and Suskeya after they returned us to the train station for the trip back to Amsterdam. I just love train travel and today reminded me why. I can afford first class on a train (unlike a plane) and so I have a comfortable space to be in and I find it very relaxing. I also like that it is affordable and easy. What a great way to visit these places today.
You also get a chance a chance to take some photos from the train.
We came back to our apartment to rest a bit and then went out and had a great last meal in Amsterdam at an Indian restaurant. The ferry was crowded with Saturday night revelers tonight and the weather was still quite warm and beautiful.
A beautiful last night.
I will write a last blog post with some final thoughts about the trip when I get home.