13 Aug 2015

The Chinese Wall

No no, not the one in China but the one in #Utrecht :-)

Let me tell you the story about my first Mission in Utrecht. I'm writing this up in the air above the Rockies on a bumpy flight to the Yukon btw.

But let's keep the eye on the ball here.

So last week Thursday I met Susanne & Susanne from 'Utrecht Toerisme', the master minds behind the 5 missions in the city they love, Utrecht.

With big smiles (tot achter hun oren) and twinkles in their eyes they gave me my first mission...

Uh ow... :-)

So... Apparently the Dutch did a lot of trading with the Chinese back in the days and they used to bring merchandise back home.

Now there's a place in the city that has some of this valuable art in its possession. I had to figure out which one and learn more about the art work.

As a clue I got a picture with Chinese art work on it. I posted it, tagged some friends from Utrecht that I met in different places around the world, crossed my fingers and waited.



Hmmm. Apparently not that obvious.

There was a deadline so I had to hurry up a bit. 

I saw on Twitter that some people from Utrecht started following me so I reached out to them.

That worked. @MicheR got back to me with the suggestion that I can probably find it at MOA Museum Oud Amelisweerd.


Well it's better than nothing and the other suggestions were a lot more vague.

So I jumped on my bike, as you do when in The Netherlands and started heading South East! It was located about 3 km outside the city center and I had a half hour left.

Easy Peasy.

I followed the old canal ('Oude Gracht') and seriously, such a joy cycling next to the water.

I then left the pretty city center behind me and made my way to MOA which turned out to be a beautiful mansion integrated in nature at a river bank.

So. Peaceful.

At the main entrance there was somebody waiting for me. A guide.

She welcomed me and explained me that the house was initially built by a wealthy family to live away from the city.

Yes they had a proper cigar room where they talked business, politics and I bet a lot more.

One of the rooms even got a secret door. It felt like I walked straight into a mansion from a Sherlock Holmes mystery.

And then there it was. The room with 'The Chinese Wall'.

All walls were covered in Chinese Wall paper that was telling 2 stories. Because that was what wallpapers did.

Every story consisted of 12 wallpaper roles. One depicted people hunting for the Royal family and the other one was about the festival of the dragon. A boat festival that still exists today.

Another thing that was so nice about the building was that it was extremely peaceful and in touch with nature.

Very Zen.

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