Christmas time is over and in a few days we make ourselves ready for New Years Eve. Whether you are spending the holidays back home with your family, with your new international friends here in Utrecht or with a Dutch family through the ESN Host Family Project, these times may feel like a rollercoaster. We are all trying to squeeze as much activities and food in those few days. That is why I decided to write something not food related, something to escape from the Christmas craziness. Namely, the best spots in the area of Utrecht for a nice long walk surrounded by nature. In Dutch we call this ‘een frisse neus halen’. Literally: ‘getting a fresh nose’. This means as much as getting some fresh air, clearing your head. We Dutchies love to do this in the weekends.
For those who are in Utrecht at the moment you can explore these spots right away. For those who are back home, you can also use this escape plan during pressing study periods. ‘Een frisse neus halen’ after studying doesn’t sound bad, does it? And with a little bit of luck you can visit these spots while the trees are covered with a white fluffy blanket: snow! I spent Christmas time with my family in the Southwest of the Netherlands and in that area was already covered in white. So let’s keep our hopes up! Anyway, with our without snow, these are two pretty and relaxing walking areas for you summed up.
Teatime trekking – The first area for a nice walk is next to the Uithof in Utrecht. You can start at swimming pool ‘De Kromme Rijn’ (address: Weg naar Rhijnauwen 3, Utrecht) and follow the ‘Jaagpad’ along the river Kromme Rijn at the eastside of the ‘Ring van Utrecht’. You will walk along grasslands and forest paths. Take a good look around, you might spot one of those colorful kingfisher birds. If you walk in the direction of the city Bunnik, you will have the opportunity to visit Tea House Rhijnauwen (address: Rhijnauwenselaan 16, Bunnik). This is a beautiful place with a lovely veranda and garden surrounded by nature. And more importantly: they serve delicious pancakes and lots and lots of tea in stylish pots. My friends and me used to go there by skates. Hot drinks and food tastes so much better after spending some time outside.
Water walk – For this walking area we go to the opposite side of Utrecht, namely the Maarsseveense Plassen. This is an area with a few lakes and small beaches. This makes it the perfect recreation place during the summer. On one of the last sunny days of this year I cycled around the lake together with a friend. We spent some time lying down in the grass, watching the peaceful water. Pure relaxation. But also during wintertime this is a gorgeous place. Just imagine outstretched grasslands with small bridges covered in white. Sounds breathtaking, doesn’t it?