Utrecht Day trip 17th Feb
Same routine with breakfast and the walk to the main station for our next day trip to the town of Utrecht. I struggled many times to pronounce the name of the city correctly, so it must've been amusing for the lady at the ticket desk at the train station to hear me try to cough up the phlegm.
It was only a 20 minute journey, and the train station exit bordered onto a massive shopping centre, so we spent a while, in the warmth just exploring lots of different shops. We managed to make our way outside and followed the signs through the city centre to the tourism office. The people in there were really helpful and friendly, and suggest that while in Utrecht we should visit the small, but very good grocery shop museum. We set off to find the grocery museum and just to have a general look around the city.
Utrecht is a gorgeous city, again, quite similar to Amsterdam; Beautiful cobblestone streets, and mostly pedestrian (Although still needed to navigate around hundreds of bikes) walkways. The stores all sold beautiful hand-made products as well as plenty of kitchenware shops. These stores sold any single cooking implement you could think of. They were truly amazing. We eventually found where the grocery shop museum was marked on our map, but there was no grocery shop museum. We wandered around all the surrounding streets, looking for a very tiny museum, but we couldn't find it. We gave up and headed back to the tourism centre. Also at the tourism tower is the very massive Dom Tower and it's matching Cathedral. We had a stroll through the nice cathedral and marveled at the height of the tower (Which once was connected to the church, but over time the connecting part has fallen down).
We had to wait for a few minutes, but eventually our friends that we'd met on our Scottish highlands tour, Georgianna and Pieter turned up on bicycles. We went for a bit of a stroll to find somewhere to have lunch. We let Georgianna and Pieter take us to a nice café, which happened to be right near where the grocery shop museum was meant to be. We had a great lunch catching up with them, chatting about all our travels and their plans for the summer. When we mentioned the grocery shop museum, they both looked at us with puzzled faces, but Pieter thought he had a hunch as to where it was.. He led us down tiny little alleyways, which we'd never have found on our own, before we found the little shop. It was basically a lollyshop on the bottom floor, and then upstairs, in the size of a small bedroom, was so much 'stuff'. Mainly they were old posters and packaging for food products, but it was pretty cool. I learnt that Maggi is Dutch, and they pronounce it completely differently to me (In fact Pieter had no idea what I was saying when I asked him if Maggi was Dutch). The way Pieter said it was if there wasn't even a G in the word!!!
We left the awesome little grocery shop museum, and made our way with the others through the cute little streets. Pieter wanted to take me to show me the towns only 'smart shop'; a shop where you can buy all sorts of strange things, but also 'magic mushrooms'. The poor shopkeeper must've thought I was super interested in the mushrooms and went into his selling spiel for the 'grow at home' mushrooms. He sold kids with everything you needed to grow your own hallucinogenic mushrooms. He then proceeded to let me know what I could and couldn't take into Australia through customs legally. (He had all the technicalities on what is and isn't a drug figured out) It appeared as though he had had a few Aussie customers in the past. He was a great salesman, and knew lots about his products, but I was only there to look, not to start a drug lab, so we left.
We said goodbye to Georgianna and Pieter - Georgianna had a big Uni test to sit later that evening, so we thought we should let her get some studying in. Dan and I spent the rest of the afternoon checking out all the cool little stores and streets in the centre of Utrecht.
We caught a late afternoon train back to Amsterdam before making the walk back up to Leidseplain. We booked some tickets to an improvised comedy show that had been recommended to us by some of Dan's friends. We went for a quick change of clothes, before grabbed a savoury pancake dinner nearby, then heading back to the theatre. The show was excellent (even if it was performed by 4 American's) sort of along the same set up as Drew Carey's "Who's line is it anyway". I got picked out by one of the performers and had to tell them what I most looked for in a guy? I was a stunned rabbit in headlights and could only manage a small giggle into his microphone. I think in the end I ended up with 'a nice bum' as my response. Lame and definitely not me, but fear had taken over!
After the show, for some reason, my left foot decided that it did not want to work. I thought it might have just been pins and needles of some other ailment, and that it would sort itself out by the time we walked back to the hotel. It didn't, so I hobbled the short distance back to the hotel before going to bed!