Canals are a prominent feature of the Netherlands and we came across plenty of them during our recent holiday. It was only in Utrecht however that we managed to fit in a trip on a canal boat. As it turned out this was a good choice as that afternoon was the only rainy one we had to endure. In addition we were treated to some lovely and unexpected views of the town. The canal trip takes you on a circular tour of the town, mainly through the old part. For most of the journey the canal is below street level so you get an unusual view of the buildings. First up is a view of the main canal from the boat, followed by views of other canals.
Next are photos of some of the wonderful buildings along the canal, some of which tower above you, like the Winkel van Sinkel building. This apparently was the very first department store to open in the Netherlands. The rest are examples of some of the rather enchanting town houses by the canal.
When the canal is below street level you get a completely different kind of building. It seems that originally these were workshops or storage cellars, but now most have been transformed into chic bars, restaurants and even a theatre.
On the walls of the canal sides are some intriguing sculptures which probably are meant to represent what originally took place in the workshops. Difficult to make out what they mean, but here are three of them.
The canal takes you past the remains of the old medieval city walls, which is the first photo below, followed by the old water tower and lastly one of a couple of tethered boats.
Along the way you come across some unexpected sights. I end with three of them, the final one of which is some text presumably in Dutch, which may be in the local Utrecht dialect. If any Dutch speakers read this post, pleas enlighten me on what the text means.