Saturday, July 4th
No fireworks for us–saving them for Bastille Day. Today it was back to Centraal and back on the train, this time to Utrecht to catch a bit of the prelim stage of the 2015 Tour de France and to visit our Gallant friend and Utrecht native Sophie.
More and more it seems Le Tour is generating less interest in its namesake county and more and more excitement in the non-French cities where the first couple of stages are typically held. Like England the year before, the crowds in Utrecht were enormous; could even get close to the circuit. As each rider zipped by you could catch maybe a quick glimpse of a helmet, followed by a team car, top loaded with bikes, but that was about it. The crowds were tough, but the pre-race ad caravan was in full silliness and it was really great to see Sophie.
Saturday night we shifted gears and went on a iPhone-played, Rick Steves Audio Tour of the Amsterdam area known as De Wallen, perhaps better known as The Red Light District. There really is a lot of rich history packed in this oldest part of town, and of course there are the various forms of commerce you just don’t find in too many other places. And not unlike Le Tour, the streets were PACKED with tourists.
De Wallen tour complete, the kids went for crepes, Laurel and I went for a beer in our fav local De Wallen dive bar. Trading Spotify suggestions with the bartender was a hoot. The kids beat us home, but we all missed the last tram. Just havin’ too much fun.