Utrecht – Tuesday 30 July

Utrecht – Tuesday 30 July

Our planned ride today was short, just 40 km, from Amersfoort to Utrecht. We had a lazy late morning start, and it was already getting hot by the time we were on our bikes. Our route went through Soesterberg, along some lovely green shady routes. We rode through a leafy suburb with many huge mansions just before we arrived in Utrecht – the area feels very prosperous.

Bike route alongside main road into Utrecht

I continue to be impressed by the cycling infrastructure in Netherlands, including in Utrecht. As we entered the city we crossed under a traffic interchange – with a three way bicycle underpass.

Bicycle underpass on our way into Utrecht

The Utrecht old city is beautiful, The Cathedral square and canals through the city are highlights. The canals are reminiscent of Amsterdam, with lots of narrow gabled houses. However they differ in having boat houses, sometimes with outdoor seating areas or even whole restaurants, right on the canal (below street level). It was a gorgeous afternoon, with lots of people around, some in canoes, in leisure cruisers on the canal, or at the restaurants.

The cycle infrastructure is very well used – as can be seen in the picture below – a steady flow of bikes, and not a car in sight. All the cycle paths are easily distinguished, as they are red asphalt (low friction and easy to ride on!)

Canal and windmill on outskirts of Utrecht

We especially went to see the new Dafne Schipperbrug that we had seen on the internet. This cycle only bridge was built for commuters, to shorten the route across the river. The cycle way onto the bridge circles up around a school playground and over its roof – very cool. It was so hot that the children were not out on the open basketball court, but playing under the shaded area under the cycle way.

Our hotel was once again a bit out of the inner city. This time we had an “apartment”, including a kitchen, so we bought a lasagna that we could heat in the oven and some salad. They expected us to store our bicycles outside the hotel again – we took a chance as our trip was almost at an end. We went for a walk around in the evening – to a nearby pub alongside a canal. There were a lot of people out and about socialising and enjoying the warm evening.

Utrecht canal at dusk – with picnickers
Last nightcap – Belgium beer – Affligem Tripel 9%

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