We had heard from friends that Utrecht was a cool place to check out. Lesser known than Amsterdam, Utrecht still has the same liberal attitudes but a less crazy vibe. And being home to a major university was a plus, as they should have some neat shops and some sort of scene. Plus I needed a new day bag, the small attach-on bags that we have for our backpacks have been considered useless. You can fit 1 thing in them, and then it’s full. It makes me look like I stole a kindergarten kids schoolbag when I wear it.
Looking online at hostels, I couldn’t really find anything in a hostel. Either poorly rated or super expensive, there were only 6 available on the hostel websites. Luckily we pulled up HRS.com and searched for any cheap hotels available. We had heard about HRS from Dee’s cousins Andy and Judith, and used it a couple times. It’s like expedia or hotels.com, but the local cheaper version.
We managed to find a special rate at a Carleton Hotel, and decided it was time to splurge a bit. We’ve been spending some time in a lot of mediocre beds, some crap beds and a very few good beds and pillows over the last couple months. Checking in I was sure we looked pretty travel weary and out of place as we made our way down the plush carpets and gold trim décor to our room. The sheets were soft, comforter and pillows extremely fluffy and instantly lured us in to flump down onto the bed for a quick nap.
We had to get up again later that night, and it took a while to get out of that bed. But we had a great reason to. Dee had found out about a monthly club night that DJ/Producers Black Sun Empire throw, and to our luck it was happening just as we were in town! It also had Goldie and Noisia on the bill, which helped with making it worth it to get out of bed. The night was great, though we only saw Nosia and Goldie play. Goldie was not playing anything that made our feet groove and then Noisia came on and played same set we heard a couple weeks ago, and a couple weeks before that! We were really only there to see Black Sun Empire who were on last but there was no where to sit and chill to let some time pass. Tired legs and boring music made us feel the need to leave back to our comfy bed. And once we felt the softness of our bed enveloped us again we knew that was the right decision. Guess we will have to see Black Sun Empire again some other day….
We knew that a day of travel and a night of partying would make it hard for us to get up on Sunday, and we may have missed the entire day sleeping in. So it was an easy decision to order room service and have it delivered at 10:00am the next morning. This would wake us up, put food in our stomach and caffeine into our system. And the Carleton didn’t disappoint with their spread! They even delivered the second pot of coffee we asked for! This picture may be the happiest I have seen Dee in a while, with her extra pillows and breakfast in bed!
Taking our time eating and waking up, we finally had to go into town on our mission. Being in a University town in Holland I felt we had a pretty good chance of finding myself a cool replacement day bag, especially since we had already seen a bunch of closed shops with bags in the window the night before.
There was a ton of selection, and anyone looking for a bag should go to Utrecht. I finally found the perfect bag by Crumpler. It’s a messenger style bag, waterproof fabric with a lifetime warranty on it. It has great loud Velcro straps so anyone trying to get into my bag would get noticed, and buckles for extra security. I’m pretty happy finding it, as Dee’s Mangler (her small green purse made of hemp) has done too much damage to my precious personal items… I can’t even talk about it…. *hangs head in somberness*
Now that I had a victory bag, we needed to get some dinner and drinks in celebration. We walked around until finding an awesome Rock’n’Roll restaurant. Like a Planet Hollywood except not part of a big chain, cheaper, better value and better artwork on the walls with a good Dutch flair.
It was a great but way too short couple of days in Utrecht, and a perfect way to start winding down our European vacation. We have some serious planning to do ahead of us on our way to Asia for the next half of a year.