Utrecht is full of bicycles..... they do have special lanes for them, but in the heart of town they appear to multiply and occupy every possible space... the stationary ones are fine, but they are merely lurking, waiting to be ridden by kamikaze cyclists, at breakneck speed, whizzing up on you silently and without warning and passing withing a hair's breadth of your toes.... heaven help you at night time, they dont seem to have any lights and the musical tinkling of a bell disguises the lethal intent of the rider.......
They are out to get you!!!!
Be advised that Monday is not the best day to visit Utrecht. We were very disappointed to discover that the Music Box to Street Organ Museum and all the other museums, including the Catherijnkerk Museum of Dutch Christianity, are closed on Mondays.
Don't forget that in Utrecht the shops are only open on the first sunday of the month.. And prevent standing in Utrecht for visitng a very good friend that just had a baby and unable to buy a present.
Luckily the central station has some small shops like the Free Record Shop (Cd's, vidoe's and such), Bruna (books), the body shop and some chocolaterie.. i managed.
I was so surprised when looking at houses and apartments in Utrecht, most of them do not have curtains and you can practically have a very detailed look of what's going on inside evrybody's flat! Hehehehe, evrything in public!
As in any big city, just be aware of your properties, and don't let anyone disguard you by asking for your attention!
As I explained in the transportation section Utrecht is nice to see by bike, as the whole Netherlands are. But if you take your own bike you have to be very carefull! Take a big, good lock with you. Like one you would need to sucure you scooter. And be sure that you have a secure regular lock on you bike.
Always put it next to a gate or lantern and put the lock around the gate, your frame and your front wheel.
You really need to do this if you want to keep your bike. In case your planning to visit Amsterdam too, it would be better to take to extra locks beside you regular lock! It's sad, but it's really as bad as that....
Utrecht is not a particularly dangerous city. Only the central station area is a bit seedy. Especially at the back of the station you are likely to encounter a few drug-addicts, but they're in the Hoog Catarijne shopping centre too. The first place you're not likely to go to anyway, there isn't much to see for the average tourist except for that windmill I mention somewhere, but when you come by train you will have to cross at least a part of Hoog Catarijne to get to the centre. Don't worry, it's just a mess, not really dangerous.
I am scared of everything. I never had a second all alone in the Nl when I was afraid. My friends gave me a few tips, watch the kids on Vespas, they might grab your bag, keep your wallet in your bag or front pocket in crowded areas. Do count your change when you get it back. Don't take pictures of the prostitutes, they don't like that and may send someone to grab your camera, besides it is rude.
At night you don't want to be in small streets or suburbs. And also: watch out when going to places/restaurants downstairs next to the canals when it snows or freezes. The stairs, pavements and bridges get very slippery then.
On the picture: Oude Gracht, here you can find the restaurants downstairs next to the canals.
At the station you have to be careful. There are lots of pickpockets here and also the homeless can act very aggressive here.
In Utrecht I was staying in a student residence, the rooms were new and modern but in at least each building there were rats!! I even saw one once, I was so scared! I told the administrator but apparently they say they cannot get rid of them permanently so be prepared....men & mice share flats in Holland!!
I am sorry for all you Dutch people reading this but in Utrecht I experienced the worst weather ever! Some days it was sooo windy I could not even open the door, there were literally "hurricanes"
If you visit Utrecht bring at least an umbrella and heavy clothes with you, even in the summer
Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus, the catchy title of the 1992 bestseller by John Gray, succinctly expresses an ancient dilemma. What--if anything--do men's and women's brains do differently?
The general statement that men and women respond and behave differently under the same circumstances is true; For example, from the crib, male babies tend to be more aggressive and females more passive. As adults, in spatial operations, men have the edge in such skills as negotiating a maze, reading a map, and quickly discriminating between right and left. Men also perform better than women when asked to visualize an object and imagine rotating it. On the other hand, women tend to perform better than men when asked to look at objects of different shapes, sizes, and colors, and then to group them in some order.
This still doesn't explain why Paulien turns the map all around when I'm asking for the road to travel, while I like the map at one point so I can better visualize our position. Help!
For years, we have all been told of the importance of water. The general guideline has been to drink 2 liter of water each day. For a person who is not living an active lifestyle this may be enough, but if you are physically active, you need more water than that. That is especially true if you are hiking in the Alkmaar area due to the fact the average temperature is much higher than other areas and the city lanes with its historical houses and bridges will go up and down.
Water is essential for everyone, especially if you are hiking. Water helps almost every part of the human body function properly. Our bodies are almost two-thirds water, and proper hydration is essential to keep your body functioning properly during the hike. Some of the things water does in the body are:
* The brain is 75% water; even moderate dehydration can cause headaches and dizziness;
* Water regulates body temperature, which is especially important here in the area where the temperatures can be so brutal;
* Water carries nutrients and oxygen to all cells in the body
* Blood is 92% water;
* Water protects and cushions vital organs;
·* Water converts food into energy (which is something you will need on a 3 to 4 hour hike…);
* Muscles are 75% water, and you will use many muscles on a trail as you climb above the desert floor.
We were asked to meet at the meeting point at Utrecht Central Station. Good thinking as it was easy to find.
But we discussed that it was maybe better, next time, to meet in a pub or coffeehouse. And maybe agree beforehand on a second meeting point later in the day so latecomers can latch on.
It took 45 minutes for everyone to arrive, you see and some of us were dying for coffee (and breakfast :-)
The area around the Centraal Station is one with much construction and expansion.
Even inside the station re-constructions are possible.