Utrecht (Province &/or City)

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Still from that lovely small-aircraft flight in late October, a few aerial views of the city of Utrecht. We’ve shown you street-level views many times, though clicking that link will also show you some of the rural areas outside the city proper. My first visit to the city came on my very second day after landing last year, when I registered with the immigration folks as a new legal resident in NL 🙂

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More from that lovely flight at the end of October. The various canals above are a bit more obvious; John, I selected the one below due to your comment about how much a land of water and canals this is – at first glance you see mostly the highway, right? But look more closely and you’ll see the irrigation canals feeding the fields lower in the frame :-).

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The same afternoon that I photographed that lovely little red airplane in Small Wonders.54, I was fortunate enough to be the fourth person in a four-seater private plane that took a friend for a birthday flight over the lovely town where she has roots. Thence came this and many other shots of the canals, rivers, fields and towns of the countryside in this portion of NL, from northeast of Utrecht (Hilversum Airport) to Heusden on the Maas, which you’ve seen before as well. Above is that portion of the highly-engineered waterway system that drains the Rhine, Maas and other rivers which the Dutch at this point call The Lek. Before it crosses the Rhine-Amsterdam Canal, it’s called the Nederrijn and I’ve shown you portions where it’s called that in a past post. Below…I have a feeling that’s just a regular canal but it might be a more important one like the Amsterdam – Rhine canal…

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Winkel van Sinkel means “Sinkel’s Corner,” more or less, and this building housed the very first department store (selling multiple types of goods) in the Netherlands. Now it’s a cool restaurant and bar, beautiful both inside and out as you can see :-). Note the advertising campaign that plays on issues of the moment in the EU at large…

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This is the Utrecht cathedral, a major portion of which was destroyed in (if I recall well) a storm many hundreds of years ago. There’s some kind of rebuilding thing happening, but I didn’t entirely follow whether they plan to rebuild the whole thing or not. (Image below: much of that is a painted canvas which I assume shows the future cathedral as planned?)
Everyone knows Amsterdam’s a gorgeous city, but a lot of folks from outside NL aren’t aware of how many other quite charming and lovely mid-sized or small cities there are here. We’ll have several more posts of the sights of Utrecht ahead – and if you’re on the full version of this, you can also check for “categories” and then select “Netherlands, Utrecht” to see all the posts from here. (Or same logic for other places, because I do try to categorize and tag most posts so any of you considering a trip can consider what you want to see and do 🙂

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Fun fact, this residence was built for the one and only Dutch pope, who died after a short term in office & without ever living in this lovely building. I’m told he was rather unpopular in Rome because of his ascetic, non-partying ways, and the same source told me that the men who elect popes never again elected a non-Italian one, until they elected the first Polish pope during my own lifetime.

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We’ve had a lovely spell of sunny days with nights cool enough to keep all the lovely spring flowers blooming longer. So on walks and bike rides I’ll see not only still-blooming daffodils & tulips, or cherry and apple trees, but also wisteria like this. Many homes in Amsterdam – and also, as you see here, in Utrecht – have gorgeous, big wisteria plants trellised and blooming in spectacular profusion. Sadly, when I see them in A’dam, it tends to be when I’m rushing past on my bike during the morning bike-to-work rush hour, with no ability to stop and snap a photo. Will try to change that in the weeks ahead, before I lose the chance this season…

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Apple blossoms, I believe, along the Kromme Rijn, which I think carries some (small portion) of the water that’s in the Rhine when it enters the Netherlands. Lovely day walk last weekend along this path into Utrecht, with many photos yet to be posted of both that city and its rural agricultural riverside neighboring areas.

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