Sunday, June 13, 2010

Utrecht for the Day

Today I took the train to Utrecht to check it out for the day.  Had to take the from from Haarlem to Amsterdam then to Utrecht, the whole thing took less than an hour.  When I bought my ticket at the station, on of my favorite things about trains happened, I bought the ticket, ran up the the track, the train was there, I got on, and I was off.  No security, no waiting, just get on and go, great!

When I arrived in Utrecht, the station is actually a big confusing mall.  It was the biggest mall I've sean in Europe for sure.  There were a lot of good stores.  I really wish Haarlem had a Media Markt for when I was buying all of the stuff for my apartment, it is like a Best Buy but better.  I got lost a bit in the mall looking for the way to centrum, but eventually found my way.  I walked around for a bit and then discovered a really cool canal that has two levels.  There were a ton of stores and cafés around too.  It was a pretty nice day so there was not an empty seat at any of them.  I grabbed a quick sandwich for lunch called a broodje mario that I saw a bunch of people eating.  Then, I finally found cold coffee in The Netherlands!!  It was at CoffeeCompany, and it tasted great.  I was really starting to like the city at this point.  It is the oldest of the big four cities in The Netherlands and (so far) I like it the best.

I also got to walk into an old church called Dom Kerk.  It was pretty nice on the inside, but I thought more impressive on the outside.

One thing that I was really excited about going to see was the Nationaal Museum van Speelklok tot Pierement which is a museum for all instruments that can play on their own such as a player piano, or band organ.  I've always been fascinated with these things ever since I was younger and when I saw Utrecht had a whole museum dedicated to them, I had to go.  I went on a tour where a girl demonstrated a bunch of the pieces they had on display.  They had the mechanism that plays bells in church towers and that was really cool to see how it worked.  We also saw musical clocks, street organs, player pianos, and a dance organ which takes up an entire room.  It was really cool.  One of the street organs we saw was played for Michael Jackson when he arrived at Skiphol in 1996.  Michael was so impressed by the music that he offered a million dollars to buy it was not sold however because they wanted to keep it in Holland.  One of the dance organs is pictured to the left.  I was surprised to see that there was nothing made by Wurlitzer at the museum which is a very famous company that made automatic instruments as well in New York.  A lot of the instruments that we were shown came from Belgium.  I really liked this piano that also had three violins as well:

I just think that is so cool that the whole thing is totally mechanical, no computers are electronics whatsoever.  This was actually made in 1910!  Amazing.

After walking around a little bit more, my feet were killing me so I decided it was time to go home.  Overall, I really liked Utrecht and will put this on my list of places to take people when they come to v

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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