You are browsing though a post I have made using my achieve photos of a trip Family Kiwidutch made with the family of one of my cousins, visiting us from New Zealand a few years ago.
In yesterdays post I mentioned that in centuries gone by, the bad state of many roads meant that canals were a faster and easier mode of travel and that the haulage of goods, ingredients and livestock were usually done on the waterways.
For ease of transport most breweries in the Netherlands were located on canalside and here is no exception, although we did also learn on our boat tour of Utrecht that the beer from the brewery shown in the first photograph supposedly had a rather “ peculiar” taste because they also used the canal water in the beer.
Since the waterways were also the dumping ground for anything and everything (mentionable and unmentionable) I hope that the alcohol in that beer was strong enough to kill off the certain nasties it must surely have contained.
Since this brewery managed to stay in business for hundreds of years, they obviously didn’t kill their customers with the beer… or maybe they did but it happened so slowly that people didn’t suspect the cause? … or is it simply that people back then had cast iron constitutions?
We pass one spot of the “lower street” with not just a large wooden sculpture out the front but also a rather strange looking angel suspended from the tree… This we are told is a sign that tells people that the crypts of wealthy people are located in the spaces behind.
A little further along we branch away from the smaller inner canals where the “lower street” idea is no longer present but the warehouses and cellars still are, this time with doors directly on the canal front.
These little canals in turn branch into the broader ones that were effectively the early motorways of the city. A large wall and a gate mark the ancient toll entrance into Utrecht.
We also pass a sturdy looking jetty that is the docking point for boats taking visitors to the nationally known Railway Museum a short distance away…
We boat and people watch: other tourists passing by in a similar tour boat to ours, to locals messing around with their craft and pets on the water’s edge.
There is a large building that dates from the 1700′s, it started life as an orphanage then became a home for the elderly and has now been converted into apartments.
Some photos just take my fancy: bridges, squeezing under bridges, houses and views from the water…