We may have found the little town of our Dutch dreams.
Still in the middle of our annual week-long December break, when we would usually be out of the country knee-deep in Christmas markets and cheer, home-bound Teko and I decided to take a drive to neighboring Utrecht province to the town of Oudewater, just to get out of the apartment and get some fresh air. Short of an hour’s drive away, we left foggy, gray Amsterdam and arrived in a totally different world where the sun was shining bright, outdoor markets were open for business, and people were outside having chats, pushing baby buggies, and enjoying the muted din of small town life. And this being the Yuletide season, there was the added feel from decorative cheer all around.
Walking around town it was hard to miss the dozens and dozens of blue historical markers and plaques on buildings all around the center, with many impressively dating as far back as the 16th century. The church tower that dominated the town is even older going as far back as the 13th century, and with bells tolling, unsurprisingly still at work to this day. Leave it to reliable Dutch maintenance and appreciation for heritage. There was so much characteristically beautiful history all around that I couldn’t help feeling giddy while documenting it all with my little smartphone, hoping I could do some justice to the occasion.
It’s always at the back of our minds that one day when we’re lucky, we’ll be able to sell our little city flat and move to the countryside, or better yet to a small town with a lot of character. Some towns we’d visited over the years we felt fit the bill, like Marken or Hoog-Soeren with now yet another town added to our growing wish list. It isn’t far fetched to think the restrictive environment we’re in has anything to do with it but after our reconnoiter it felt like Oudewater has outdone every place else thus far. Oudewater or not, we still have a lot of work left to get it done, and if fate doesn’t smile at us, we at least got to see an idyllic town that gave us a dream of possibilities.