Thursday, April 26, 2018

A Meet-Up with Ayush in Utrecht, NL

For those of you who have followed this journey, you may remember that Astrid and I have a fellow photo-blogger from our Shutterchance blog who just happens to fly over to the Netherlands from time to time for work.  He's from India but lives and works in Singapore for OCÉ, a Canon printer company, with a branch office in Venlo, NL.

That's Ayush.  We first met up with him in February, 2016, in Venlo.  Then a month later, in March, he visited us here in Gorinchem.  He wasn't sure he'd be called back to the Netherlands but...lo and behold...he's here now again for almost a year.

So, yes, we jumped on the opportunity and met up with each other in Utrecht this past Saturday...150 km by train for him and 43 km by bus for us.

Both the bus and train terminals are at the same location, with our arrivals 10 minutes apart at 11 a.m.

It was like we picked up from where we last left off!
And we couldn't have picked a better day.

From the train station we walked into town...past one of my favorite scenes of the city...

past the flying saucer (top-center) and the peanut butter shop (bottom-center)...
towards the Dom Tower of St. Martin's Cathedral.

Remember here's the church, here's the steeple; open the door and here's all the people?
The Dom Tower is the tallest church tower in the Netherlands at 368 ft.
It was completed in 1382.

However, it so happens that the church was never finished, with its nave collapsing in 1674.
Since then, the tower has stood free-standing, apart from the cathedral.
It makes a great walk-through to the cathedral.

Since Astrid and I have been there several times, we sent Ayush off on his own,
while we also wandered around on our own for this, that and the other.
You know me and "impressions."

Of course, we often crisscrossed paths with Ayush, keeping track of him.
Astrid loves to talk to Ayush because he's such a good listener.
It's like he hangs on to her every word.
(At age 35, he could be our son!)

From the cathedral we walked next door to the Gothic cloister's Pandhof garden...

known for it's delightful fountain with a bronze statue of the 14th c. writing priest, Hugo Wstinc.
The statue was made in 1915, designed and manufactured by the Brom brothers.

If that doesn't whet your appetite...yes, it was time for lunch.
Astrid decided we should go to the Winkel van Sinkel, since cafés everywhere were overflowing.

This, too, was crowded outside, but no problem....

because we wanted the inside experience, away from the sun (for moi).
"Winkel van Sinkel has become a general term for shops where everything is for sale."
And of can also eat there.

We then walked along the Oudegracht (old canal) that runs through the center of the city.

Many of the warehouses lining the canal have been converted into restaurants and cafés.

How's that for a bachelorette party!

We headed towards the Jacobuskerk, or St. Jacob church, to see if it was open.
It wasn't.

But we enjoyed the sculpture outside, wondering what it was about.

We knew De Ster (The Star) windmill would be open, so off we went.

It was built in 1739, restored in 1999, and is a working saw mill.

Lucky for us, it has a café inside, where Ayush treated us to a cold Witte Trappist beer.
Definitely a "thirst quencher."

THEN we were ready for a tour of the mill.

Our guide knew everything about everything!

What a way to end the day!

Others had come by bike.

For us, the leisurely walking was more than enough.
So much to see; so little time.

But it was enough and we were home by 6 p.m. that evening.
THANK YOU, Ayush, for another great memory.
You are such a gentle man!


  1. Such a wonderful day and such varied sights to see. Love it! The only thing I had known about Utrecht was the Treaty.

    1. I declare, Marie. That is really saying something:

  2. Ayush has such a nice vibe... thru his comments on my blog, and his sweet face matches :) thanks for taking us along!

    1. He's every bit as charming as he appears, Elaine, and (I repeat) a great listener. You're welcome.

  3. A grand time was had by all! Lovely friends you are, and have.

  4. This was a great day and with Ayush it is always a joy. We had the fortune of being blessed with the perfect weather and not too many people around. What a great memory is added the many we already have. Ayush is indeed a very gentle man. I know his parents are proud of him Thank you for this post, Ginnie. IHVJ.

    1. These are the treasures we love to have and hold, Astrid, and then go back to review. We are so very fortunate to have Ayush as a friend!

  5. Your travel photographer, or as I say photo journeys, are such a treat for the reader....I love when folks visit you! Maybe me one day!!

    1. If ever you are in our fair country, Donna, please let us be the first to know. It would be a huge thrill to show you around!

  6. How lovely that you could meet up again. You have captured some wonderful moments from the day.

    1. If you and Mark ever have the idea to come visit the Netherlands, Cherry, PLEASE let us know and you will be shown around. We would love it. Is that even a possibility??? If so, maybe we can talk about it in September.

    2. I would a visit to the Netherlands with you as my tour guide :-)

      With regards to September, we a currently hoping to stop overnight in a Malvern hotel before the MeetUp :-)

    3. Let's make sure we talk about a possible visit from you when we see you in September, Cherry!