Published: August 11th 2012August 1st 2012
I went to visit Utrecht with my friend Evina. This is where her boyfriend works. Since he knows Iran well and I will be visiting soon, I asked him a lot of questions.
Utrecht has canals, like Leiden, but it is also a much larger city. Best of both worlds! Houses by the canal often have a basement that stretches down to the lower level of the canal, meant, in the old times, for offloading merchandise for storage in the basement. These lower stories have now been converted, it seems, for living. I've noticed many shops and restaurants, and habitations.
Utrecht has a very large cathedral and, nearby, an impressively tall tower. It is also the home of the 'Old Catholics', who are a subdivion of christianity that has branched off catholicism a few centuries ago, and has since then evolved differently on matters of dogma. In many ways, it is much less conservative than catholicism (and I was not surprised to learn that they are in communion with the Anglicans). I was kindly shown the St. Gertrud church, of the Old Catholics, and their older church.
Utrecht is also home to the eponymous university, and thus also
home to a lot of establishments friendly to students: cafés, tapas restaurants and other cheap places, places for hanging out, etc. It's a very welcoming city.
There are more photos below