Utrecht & Amsterdam: Friends in Dutch places

Day 5 was a short, pleasant drive to Utrecht to stay with our friend, Twan and his girlfriend, Emma. We first met Twan while working together in Fremantle and later met up with him while travelling Australia. It was a surreal experience to then visit him two years later in his hometown in Holland and finally get to meet Emma.

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Utrecht was a beautiful bustling city. Cobbled market squares, canals lined with restaurants and typical dutch terraced buildings with huge portrait windows.

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For rich and I it was great to turn the tables as we bombarded our ‘local’ friends with questions. What does this mean? What’s this for? How do you pronounce this? etc. We had the best time drinking local ‘leprechaun’ beer (p.s. definitely a gnome, not a leprechaun) and camping out in their amazing underground apartment. Once a wine cellar,  it has no windows  and is like half a tunnel with mood lighting and great speakers. The only natural light comes from the hatch in the pavement at street level!

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By pure chance, saturday was the annual gay pride festival in Amsterdam. Just 20 minutes by train from Utrecht. This was one of those days where you just keep thinking, this is the best day ever!

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The weather was absolutely perfect. Sun was out, everyone in amsterdam was out and there was even two guys with water jet packs doing back flips leading the parade down the canal!

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In the square we were accosted by a street magician. I usually hate magicians but he absolutely blew us away with his card tricks. top rate and he was funny too. well worth the 8 euros we gave him between us. IMG_3430

We followed the parade through the city to its conclusion opposite the NEMO building.

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Classic Amsterdam: Pirate ship, live parrot, guy asleep with husky on top of boat with champagne on a tray.DSC_0416

When morning rolled around, we slept in (mostly because we were underground so there’s no daylight). We stopped by Twan’s work for one last coffee (Twaniccino anyone?) and set out Germany.

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