I left Utrecht with fondness. It had been a luxury of sorts - no real sights to see, just a place to unwind and take it easy for a little on this long adventure. Oh god, kill me. Long adventure? I'm slipping into cliche. It was a place to unclip the wings and glide for a while before being recooped in this redolent travel aviary. (Better.)
Before we left, Sam wanted to go and have a sandwich. He'd eaten there two days previously and raved about it being the best sandwich he'd ever had (goat's cheese and honey, apparently), and so after checking out we dragged our bags past the train station for fifteen minutes to reach the cafe. The sandwich was fine. Then we walked back to the station again and got on the train.
We had spent about fifty minutes getting from Rotterdam to Utrecht, and so had vaguely expected about an hour and a half to get from Utrecht up to Amsterdam. Not so. It was twenty five minutes max. We had barely sat down and had our tickets checked before we were disembarking into a slightly overcast day. It sounds strange but being in a big city again was jarring - crowds, buses, cars, noise. We took a minute to get oriented and on the tram to our hostel.
Hostel is a strange way of putting it, actually. It's more like a sublet apartment building. We really struggled to identify it on the street as it was unlabelled, even on the buzzer. Even the neighbours didn't know of it. But you can see why - it's not really a hostel in a typical sense. Our room is huge, with a full double and a fold-out sofa bed, dining table, fridge, TV and two huge cabinets. It is bigger than our last three hostel rooms put together. There's a shared kitchen and bathroom upstairs, but it's basically self-sufficient. You get a key into the building and off you go. There is no front desk, no bar, and no walk-ins, just bookings. Just a really nice apartment for hostel prices.
We crashed when we got in, watching a bit of the Olympics, before heading out to a vegetarian place for dinner. Sam enjoyed his tart, but my spaghetti came out only warm, not hot, and my sticky toffee tart with ice cream was served cold, which I didn't expect. I did enjoy the house cat that strutted around the place, rubbing against your legs as you ate and ducking off into the backyard or through a cat flap to the kitchen that right now as I type might not be super hygienic. Ah. Oh well. Tomorrow, the van Gogh and Anne Frank museums await. Goddamn it. I mean, the antlered deer of... self-examination... will turn on the... hunter... of... something.