So far we've taken an airplane, a taxi, a trolley, a canal boat and a train. Today we're adding a bus to the list. The stop was right outside the hotel and it went to the city center of Utrecht. We left the bus right at one of the things on our "to do" list. The Janskerkhof flower market. The market was full of bright colours and wonderful smells. The selection of cut flowers included peonies, irises, roses, sunflowers and many more including some I didn't recognize. There were also lots of bedding plants, flowers and vegetables.



Wandering around Utrecht, I was surprised how close the buildings are. From a distance we saw the spire of Sint Willibrodkerk (St. Willibrod church). As we tried to get near the church we realized that buildings were attached it and only a little of the external walls visible. A priest walked into the church right behind us and asked if we had been in the church before. When we answered no, he said you're in for a surprise. He was correct --- our jaws dropped when we entered the church proper. Unfortunately, my photos don't do it justice.

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Dom Kerk (St. Martin's Cathedral) is a massive church with an beautiful courtyard (not shown) but it also has the "buildings touching" issue. On the right is a University building.

The canals in Utrecht are different from the canals we've seen in other cities. The flat area at water level is used as extended living area or dining areas of restaurants.

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There are a lot of bicycles in Utrecht. In the background is the Domtoren (Don Tower). The tower was constructed in 1321 and is currently being restored.

The bus ride back to the hotel had a bit of a hick-up. When a bus pulled up to the stop we asked if it was correct bus and the driver said yes. Luckily I was running map software on my phone and noticed when we started going away from the hotel. We got off the bus as soon as we could resulting in a one and a half kilometer walk back to the hotel.

Turned out that the walk was a good thing. Part of the walk was along the road but the rest was through a park where we saw these guys and gals.

Yvonne's maiden name is Van Bemmel and she remembers her father telling her that if she ever went to the Netherlands she had to go to the town of Bemmel and see the castle. So we did.

Kasteel De Kinkelenburg (Kindelenburg Castle) in Bemmel.

It was about an hour drive from Utrecht to Bemmel. It didn't take long for the city to disappear and country to appear. Bemmel had a totally different feel from the cities we have visited. The houses didn't touch and there was space for gardens like this one

and this one. This gentleman saw as walking down the sidewalk towards his house and I think was waiting to see our reaction to his gardens. I hope we oohed and aahed enough. He also told us about his MGB.

Now here's a real castle (sorry Bemmel). About 15 minutes drive from Bemmel is the Doorwerth Castle outside of Doorwerth. The castle and the grounds are beautiful and are apparently available for weddings --- a small wedding was between ceremony and reception during our visit to the castle.


Irises in the castle garden.

I don't think I've ever seen sheep with black ears, eyes and noses. There's also a bit of black on their legs and feet.

Leaving Doorwerth we drove about a half hour north to the town of Apeldoorn. We picked this town to stay in as our mother's maid names are Apeldoorn but have nothing to do with city as far as I know.