woensdag, september 22, 2004

Vanochtend ga ik naar de Volksuniversiteit Utrecht

(Or, for those of you who speak English: This morning, I go to school.)

I've started Dutch lessons (or Klingon 101, as I refer to them). I think I'll do ok - however it has been awhile since I've been in a classroom as a student. Enough of the substantive part of the lessons. This is how I get to school: I start off in the bike hall about half a block from our house. The bikes in this picture don't really have their lights on; it was dark and the flash lit up the reflectors.

After coming out of the bike room, I jump on the bike and head down the street,

then turn left at the blue sign.

I ride straight for a block, then turn right (about a block before the windmill) and follow the canal for awhile. Ordinarily, I would cross a drawbridge, then go right and ride down the other side of the canal, but there's some construction so I have to take a little detour today.

Utrecht has 3 main canals - one that circles the city center and two canals that dissect the city. This is canal leads into the city center and joins the one that circles it. There are locks along this block that allow ships to pass from the city canals to the outlying canals.

There's a little bridge up ahead and just to the left...

So I use it to cross over and get to the other side - where I would have been if there hadn't been the construction on the drawbridge.

I go down this street for about half a block,

then cross over the bridge just up ahead to the right.

Once over the bridge, I take a left and here we are riding down the right side of the canal again.

Oudegracht, or the "old canal" that we're now travelling on, is one of the two that dissect the city. It was built right around 1100 AD.

The blue you see ahead of you in the picture below is the start of the main shopping district on the canal.

The canal is still to the left of the street. A little later, after the city wakes up, there will be chairs and tables all aong here and people will take a break from shopping or working and have coffee or lunch.

The guy in the picture below is standing on a bridge that crosses the canal.

The next block of shops. The canals throughout the city are far enough below street level that there are shops and restaurants on the lower level, right next to the water.

This is one of the many flower stands that you'll find everywhere throughout The Netherlands. Wednesday and Saturday are big market days, so, this being Wednesday, a couple of hours from now this intersection will be filled with flowers.

If you look straight ahead, you'll see a building. The canal (still to the left of us) goes under the street there and comes out on the other side of a juncture of streets.

This is probably my favorite intersection in the city. Although you can't tell from this picture, there is another small street just to the right of the building straight ahead. This intersection is mostly used by bikes and pedestrians.

In the picture below, we're just to the left of the small building in the center of the picture above.

And below is the view next to the bridge in the picture above.

We go a block further, then there is a block of narrow buildings to our right that abut the canal.

The canal opens up again,

we go one block further ...

then turn left away from Oudegracht.

We go one block

then turn right onto Nieuwegracht ("New Canal"), so called because it was built aaround the 1500's.

I stepped across to the other side of the canal to take this picture of the school (Volksuniversiteit Utrecht) where my Dutch classes are held.

Tot Ziens!

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Blogger foultempt said...

That was a lot of fun! The town you are in is so beautiful, this really makes me want to go there and see it in person! =o) Oh to have endless supply of cash to travel!

5:49 p.m.  

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