Utrecht

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Utrecht is a small but important city in the centre of the Netherlands. It is famous for its door bells. In 2005 Utrecht dominated 45% of the worldwide door bell industry. The University of Utrecht even has a special door bell faculty, named the Science Department of Ringing and Door Bells.

The name Utrecht is old Dutch for 'straight ahead', and was forcibly imposed on it by the Dutch Tourist Board in 1593. Moves to restore the original name, Hogswillendam, have been blocked in parliament.

edit City centre

Utrecht has indeed a city centre with a few old, sometimes Medieval buildings. But Japanese tourists in touring cars should be warned that they might get stuck in the city centre, because no cars or touring buses are allowed in the centre. Well, yes, they are allowed, but they get lost and end up in a neighbourhood village. Utrecht only has a single one-way road, which curves through the city center many times crossing itself. However, one is not allowed to turn right or left at any point. Furthermore, it is rumoured that Utrecht's traffic lights never even have been fitted with a green light. The effect is that many foreigners that arrive by car are effectively trapped in the city, especially if they want to reach the station, which has been impossible since 1998. The best way to get in or out then is using a train or a bicycle, but trains always have delays and bicycles always get stolen.

edit University campus "De Uithof"

On the east side of Utrecht is the university campus "De Uithof", which is Dutch for "way out in the farmlands". This is the location of Utrecht university, which was founded by a professional hulahoop player. No actual courses are taught or scientific research is performed in De Uithof, since it only acts as a cover for putting up godawful ugly buildings. Curiously, these buildings do attract tourists, abducting of whom is the main source of income for the local residents (who claim to be students but are actually pirates-in-training).

Utrecht's 130% female student population is a tourist attraction on its own, except for the occasional tourist who is not attracted to females, such as anyone educated at TU Delft. By comparison, tourists pay large amounts of money or even sell their kidneys to gain entrance to some of the students' bars.

edit Kanaleneiland

Utrecht is also the home of the famous Kanaleneiland. This is a magic place where mythological people live, so it's rumoured. It's full of unicorns and knights. Then we also have Hoograven and Overvecht. Which are less mystical, but full of other interesting things. Such as flying toasters and armored cheese, much is yet to be discovered in these places.

edit How to recognize Utrecht

It is easy to recognize Utrecht, unless one has a visual handicap. Utrecht is marked by hard-to-miss signs marked, 'Utrecht'. Similar signs are placed on the city's five train stations: Utrecht Centraal, Utrecht Lunetten, Utrecht Overvecht, Utrecht Terwijde, Utrecht Zuilen and Utrecht Maliebaan. Unfortunately, if you are waiting to get off at a station marked Utrecht, you will be well on your way to the next city before realising.

A second way to recognize Utrecht is by its famous Dumb Tower. In the Middle Ages, this tower was connected to the Dumb Church. However, the City Council placed a bus stop between the tower and the church, and dug a tunnel underneath the tunnel so that the buses would not have to go to church.

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