Since the moment I first stepped into Utrecht from the back of the train station, I felt ‘something different’ hovering in the crisp winter air. It was something I haven’t ever experienced in Amsterdam, something tangible in the streets and – yet – seemingly impossible to pinpoint.I went to the Hall of Fame and took my first graffiti shots, then headed to the hipster area of Rotsoord. After lunch, I still couldn’t name what was different in Utrecht.Sure, the city was smaller and more compact than Amsterdam. In fact, no matter what destination I put on Google Map, the answer was always encouraging; only once did the app estimate more than 10 minutes of walking.
Obviously the well-known university of Utrecht attracts a lively, young crowd to the city: pubs and cafés are crowded with students, where lots of cultural activities satisfy their curious minds. However, I’m way over university parties and I definitely can’t say that I miss the bustling cultural life in Amsterdam. So although the student:adult ratio is indeed different in Utrecht, it wasn’t that intangible charm that I was trying to put a name on.
I had my epiphany on the second day, while sipping a Belgian beer on a picaresque canal that looked straight off of a postcard. I was staring at the pointed buildings, which look very similar to the ones in the city centre of Amsterdam… ”
To find out exactly what it was that Giulia noticed click on to her blog Blocal
Extract by kind permission of blocal-travel.com