The Netherlands Diary #6: Deventer & Utrecht

In my post about the Amsterdam Gay Pride Parade, I said there were two reasons I stayed an extra week in the Netherlands. One was the Parade itself, and the other was a book fair held on the first Sunday of August in Deventer, a town in central Netherlands. It is said to be the biggest book fair in Europe, with 6 km (!!!) of stalls winding all through the Old Town and along its riverbank. I knew I couldn’t pass up such a chance. So on Sunday, I got up early and took the train to Deventer (it takes 1.5 hours from Amsterdam, and the fair started at 9:30).

If you ask me what Deventer is like as a town, I wouldn’t be able to answer. As I left the train station, I followed the signs (and the crowd) to the main square, where the stalls began, and I didn’t see anything else after that. It was all books, books, books as far as the eyes could see. It was like Heaven. Of course, most of the books are in Dutch, but just basking in that atmosphere is exciting enough. After wandering around a bit to take it all in, I did find some stalls specializing in English books and spent the rest of the morning browsing through them.

I have died and gone to Heaven

It was fun to people-watch too (I really liked that dress)

Because of my luggage weight, I had to limit myself to 5 books. I ended up getting just three, but for less than 10 euros, I’m happy with my haul.

Book haul!

I couldn’t walk through all 6km of stalls, of course. By the early afternoon, my legs were screaming, so after a quick lunch, I got on the train again and headed toward Utrecht – it was on the way back to Amsterdam, and it was a town I’m interested in.

I didn’t spend too much time at Utrecht (mostly because I was exhausted), but I liked what I saw. I walked along the canals, visited the central museum, and finally settled down for a cup of delicious hot chocolate at the museum cafe. Utrecht has more of a scholarly air than other Dutch towns I’ve visited, and I also like that the canals there have stairs leading down from the streets, so you can walk along them. And of course, its most famous creation, Miffy (or Nijntje, as she’s known in Dutch), is everywhere.

The canals of Utrecht

Two views of the Dom Tower

The Dom Cathedral’s garden

And with that, my absolutely wonderful trip was over. It has reawakened the wanderlust in me, and now I can’t wait to plan my next trip. Where should I go?

3 Comments on “The Netherlands Diary #6: Deventer & Utrecht”

  1. cikitaokt says:

    Omg awesome! That bookstore! I want to be at that place 😍

  2. Mike says:

    That is freakin’ awesome Salazar! Wow!! 6 kilometers of books?! That’s nearly 4 miles (3.7 miles to be exact; had to translate Km to Miles so I could truly grasp the length).
    That’s like a bibliophile’s heaven!

    I have a friend who is a true book lover and I think that she would really like reading your post today.
    And even though the books are in Dutch, I’d still like to see something like that. So awesome!!

    Where should you go next? Some place that has lots of books!
    Glad that you had a great time. Thanks for sharing about your travels here with us. Enjoyed every post!

  3. Kezzie says:

    Oh my!!! 6km of books? That is some wondrous feat!!!! I love that book kimono that lady is wearing too!

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