Last weekend I went to visit one of my friends in Utrecht- and what a great decision that was!
Utrecht is a really pretty city, situated in the heart of the Netherlands. It was a two-hour train journey to get there from Maastricht. Unlike the UK, where you have the choice to travel by either bus or train, in the Netherlands, the train is your main and, sometimes, only option to travel between cities. The city is much bigger than Maastricht and looks much more modern (I must confess I really missed the sight of beautiful medieval buildings). It also has a ridiculous amount of weird buildings! And when I say weird, I mean infinite amounts of colours ‘spilt’ on walls, unpractical alignments of weirdly-shaped windows and giant teapots on rooftops.
My absolute favourite place was the Utrecht University Botanic Garden. I’ve seen so many tropical plants, so many flowers and they even have giant tropical butterflies! The place looks like heaven on Earth, and the fact that the weather was nice too, just made me want to lay on the grass and do nothing but enjoy the views for hours and hours. In the middle of the garden, there is also a research centre, and I was so jealous when my friend told me that the Utrecht University students have sometimes the option to take courses there.
The city centre in itself is beautiful, too. There are lots of small streets that lead to the very heart of the city, where you can find the Dom Tower, the tallest church tower in the Netherlands, which was built in the 14th century. The market is full of flowers (not as many tulips as I had expected) and the streets are full, of course, of bikes!
Talking about bikes, me and my friend spent the Sunday cycling around the city. We mainly explored the area surrounding the Fort Rijnauwen and it was amazing! If you ever visit Utrecht, make sure you have time to explore it yourself. To let you know what you can expect, I’ll only say: tiny ponds, bridges, fortresses’ walls and rabbits running around.
All in all, it was a great weekend and I am really happy I chose to visit this city. In the next weeks, I am planning a little trip to Belgium, so I will let you know how it goes.
Hope all of you are enjoying the first weeks of uni!