Travels in Holland: Utrecht (May 29 & June 2 2014)

Pigeon-eyed view from the top of the Dom Tower, Utrecht, Holland

Pigeon-eyed view from the top of the Dom Tower, Utrecht, Holland

Attractions:

  • Museum Speelklok (May 29)
  • Domkerk and Dom Cathedral (May 29)
  • Dick Bruna Huis [Dick Bruna House] (May 29)
  • Centraal Museum (May 29)
  • Kasteel de Haar [De Haar Castle] (June 2)

The sound of the bell tolls in the air amidst the pattering of the rain. From the nearby Dom Cathedral, the gothic-style Domkerk is an ominous giant of 112 meters reaching into the sky. My father urges us to quickly go to the tourist office to purchase tickets to explore the tower. We manage to get on the last tour. Following our guide, we brave the narrow passage way, past the cavern of bells, and up 465 steps to the top. Despite the rain, we brave the dizzying view of the city below. The fortressed town of Utrecht stretches out miles before us. Another hundred or so steps, we follow our guide to the enormous bell playing station. She shows us the program of songs that are played at the different hours of the day and during holidays. For fun, she gives us a demonstration. We are in awe as the bells chime their melody. The song of Utrecht echoes in our memory.

Utrecht in the rain

Utrecht in the rain

 

In the early morning, we catch the train to Utrecht departing from Centraal Station in Amsterdam. The 20-minute ride takes us past the Dutch countryside to the medieval university town of Utrecht located south of Amsterdam. Stepping off the train, we enter a quaint town of sturdy brown bricks and cobbled streets. Utrecht is the fourth largest city in Holland and is renowned for its university and rich art and design culture.

Tip: At Centraal Station in Amsterdam, you can purchase tickets from the person-operated ticket booth. Just tell them your destination and whether it is roundtrip.

Following the turns of the road and hiding under our umbrellas, we find ourselves outside the Museum Speelkok—known for its vast collection of musical clocks and devices.

Museum Speelklok, Utrecht, Holland

Museum Speelklok, Utrecht, Holland

Organ on wheels, Museum Speelklok, Utrecht, Holland

Organ on wheels, Museum Speelklok, Utrecht, Holland

After a playful demonstration of the musical organs, we had a hot lunch at the homely Graaf Floris. I tried the grilled salmon and white asparagus soup, which was welcoming.

Once refreshed, we made our wandering way through the streets to the Centraal Museum, where we purchased tickets to the museum and the Dick Bruna Huis (the museum for the iconic Miffy the bunny).

If you are a fan, then the Dick Bruna Huis is the place for you. It houses a collection of several picture books and artwork by the creator.

Next, we headed across the street to the Centraal Museum. The museum has a rich collection of works by Utrecht’s famous artists from the past and present, such as Dick Bruna and Rietveld. This is definitely the place to go if you are an art enthusiast.

Tired but invigorated by a long day, we took the train back to Amsterdam for dinner.

With Trafalgar tour, we had the opportunity to visit the Kasteel de Haar—boasted for its beauteous fairytale-like castle and gardens. Unfortunately, we did not go inside the castle for a tour; we only explored the grounds with its luscious roses and Roman sculptures. Personally, I think this would be a nice place for wedding photos or an elaborate photo shoot.

Kasteel de Haar

Kasteel de Haar

 

References

Centraal Museum Utrecht. (2015). Centraal Museum Utrecht. Retrieved from http://centraalmuseum.nl/en/

Domtoren. (2015). Domtoren. Retrieved from http://www.domtoren.nl/

Holland.com. (2015). Utrecht. Retrieved from http://www.holland.com/uk/tourism/cities-in-holland/visit-utrecht.htm

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