A warm welcome in Doorn ↑ all posts

A warm welcome in Doorn

I spent a rainy morning drinking coffee and waiting for my bike’s frayed gear cable to be replaced at one of Amsterdam’s many bike shops. Job done, I left town and headed south towards Utrecht and to the village of Doorn where I was to stay with my friend Nienke’s father Peter and his family.

The Dutch cycle network continued to provide, with signs to Utrecht from the centre of Amsterdam. The route mainly followed canals and rivers and led through numerous pristine and pretty villages.

Approaching Utrecht the path runs alongside what appeared to be a dead end road with a turning circle at the end and a constant stream of cars making use of it. Seemed strange and out of place until I realised that this was Utrecht’s red light district, the canal parallel to the road was lined with barges each of which had the same red-lit rooms as you’d see in certain areas of Amsterdam. Quite unsettling to see men cruising along the presumably purpose built road checking out what was on offer in the middle of a sunny afternoon. Not quite sure what to make of it all, I reached the centre of Utrecht and spent some time walking around and admiring the remains of the gothic cathedral.

Another 20km or so into the countryside and I was in Doorn and being welcomed warmly by Peter and his family. I fairly devoured the large meal they’d kindly prepared! An evening of drinking, talking, Skyping Nienke and James in London, and planning my route followed, and I slept well.