A day trip to Utrecht

Our tie up point got busy quite early on. We woke up after 7, had breakfast and got going shortly after 9 when the bridge opened. We went into a lock which went down one metre then crossed the large canal again before going straight into a lock to go back up one metre. The lock keeper gave us a map for the old city of Utrecht. The bridges in and out of Utrecht operate very infrequently. Every 30 minutes and at the first bridge on De Vaarste Rijn we tied up and I washed dishes. We got through at 10:35 and then went past an old water tower and through the next bridge at 10:50. We were lucky as the next bridge opened as we got there. After the Vaste Brug we made a sharp left to Passentenhaven and tied up at 11:15. Fifteen minutes later after putting the camera battery and a few other things on charge, we started by walking to the museum quarter. We had to pay to walk up the Dom Tower so chose not to do that. We ate Nederland Frites from Manneken Pis down at the main canal. We then found ourselves in a huge shopping mall which goes from the station, over the old part of the city. We bought meat and houmous for lunch and sat in the park next to the centre and ate a picnic lunch. We walked 2 blocks back to the old city and looked at Museum Speelklok. We went back to the main canal for beers at De Muntkelder. Dave had La Chouffle, Mark had Duvel and I had Vedett Extra White. There is a lot of building work going on.  We went back to Albert Heijn and did the supper shopping. We walked through the park and back up the main road to the barge. We topped up with water – both water and electricity are free of charge – and left at 15:40. We went back the way we came and did a sharp left to go through the main canal up the middle of the old city. There are plenty of houses and businesses up the side which go under the streets with canal frontage. We had a long wait at the hand operated lock which finally opened at 16:40 and took us 20 minutes to go nowhere slowly. We then had to wait 30 minutes for them to open the bridge. I would recommend leaving Utrecht at 16:30 if you aren’t going to stay the night. As we had to wait, Mark and Dave walked across the road to get ice cream from Mulino Ijs. Dave chose blueberry cheesecake for himself and truffle for me and Mark had limoncello and white chocolate. After we got through the bridge at 17:30 the next two bridges opened straight away. All the way to the next bridge was a solid row of boat houses, some of which don’t look residential. We tied up at 18:25 just after Oud-Zuilen for the night. It was such a pleasant evening. We enjoyed the last of the watermelon, had snacks and then went inside for dinner. Dave made pasta with mushroom sauce. After strawberries and cream we went back upstairs and sat outside finishing off the limoncello. We went to bed after closing everything up as a storm was expected in the night.

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