25 September 2018

A Sojourn in Southern Holland: Dordrecht

I arrived pretty early, and it was a fortunate thing that the hotel already had a room ready for me. So after dropping off my bags in my room, I quickly rearranged things and headed out. This morning, I wanted to go to Dordrecht, a city that until now I only knew because it's the home of some academic publishers, and I always encountered this name whenever I was writing a bibliography for an article I was working on.

So I took the train from Leiden, and after a relatively short ride (I suppose almost every train ride in the Netherlands is short), I found myself at the train station. The old town was a short walk away.

The train station was actually in a modern-looking part of town, but as I slowly walked into the Old Town, the typical Dutch architecture and building styles started to appear. I found my way to Visbrug, an old bridge straddling the canal that overlooks the town hall.

There's a refreshing feeling about Dordrecht: I mean, it's Friday, yet the crowds are not there. I suppose every tourist just goes to Amsterdam. I felt like I was the only one walking around the streets, exploring the town while its inhabitants are busy doing their own thing, either reading the newspaper while sipping a cup of coffee, or riding their bicycle on the way home after spending some time in the market. I found myself in cute and pretty neighbourhoods, such as this row of houses with boats parked in front of them.

Dordrecht actually has a very busy intersection, but at the river. Multiple important rivers meet here, and they all go places. So all those boats that have to go further inland to Europe has a high chance of passing through Dordrecht. While I was there I saw several large vessels pass by.

As I wrapped up my visit, I checked out the massive 14th-century Grote Kerk. I didn't climb up to the tower, so I just explored the ground floor interior. After this, it was lunch time, so I found a nice cafe to refuel. And then I headed to Delft for the afternoon.


  1. It looks very cute! What did you eat in the café? I have no idea what's a typical Dutch meal.

    1. Zhu,

      Oh I am sorry to disappoint you, but typical Dutch meals aren't the most memorable. Yes, there's some very fancy and memorable restaurants serving modern European cuisine in the Netherlands, but the traditional Dutch cafe is more basic and nothing to write home about. I had a meal that I could easily have had in other cafes in Europe.