Utrecht

Observations While Walking to Breakfast

Little Dutch houses for you and me.

Only saw one of these. Shouldn’t there be more? Several runners passed meūü§Ē

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stuff.

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oor.

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cken.

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?

ūü§∑‚Äć‚ôāÔłŹ

Categories: Geography, netherlands, photography, Travel, Utrecht | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Bagels & Beans to Beers & Barrels

Woke this morning after another night of deep sleep, weird dreams, punctuated by waking once or twice. Took a shower, got dressed, and either bent over wrong, stood up wrong, or whatever I did wrong pinched an old lower back injury. (Fell off a waterfall in Thailand over 20 years ago. It’s a good story but not as exciting as you might think; maybe I should embellish it sometime. But I digress.) As a result of said wrongness, I have spent a good portion of the day saying, “Ow.”

After showering, dressing, and wronging, my brother directed me here,

which he said was just up the street from the grocery store. It wasn’t. It was actually a few blocks up and several over plus the few wrong turns I made searching for it. Ow.

Had a delightful breakfast of coffee, OJ, and a bagel with cream cheese and strawberry jam. Then walked the correct way back to the house. Ow.

The return home is when I felt really jet lagged for the first time so thought it would be a good idea to go see this

because I didn’t want to nap and jeopardize my adjustment to local time, and I enjoy going to movies in other countries; when I’m in them, not like a regular vacation thing.

Ow.

In Taipei I saw “The Money Pit” that was in English and subtitled in Chinese, which made it both awkward and hilarious when I’d laugh several seconds before most of the Taiwanese audience.

Similarly in Spain I watched “There’s Something About Mary”, at an outdoor theater, which was dubbed in Spanish with English subtitles. The enjoyable bit that time was that the Spaniards in the audience didn’t get the hair gel joke, nor had any idea who Brett Favre was! (I’m assuming you’d get the joke and know him.) While in Thailand I saw a movie I don’t recall, maybe because of the waterfall incident, but I do remember the lights dimming, some music playing, and the audience standing in unison…for their national anthem.

Ow.

Back to this

I tried to use the ticket kiosks b/c even though they were in Dutch, (but not cahoots), I figured, “It’s just tickets, how hard could it be?”

After getting my ticket from the cashier I headed up the stairs toward theater #7. On the way I walked through the concession stand, which is really more of a convenience store kind of thing, grabbed my snax, paid, and walked to my movie.

Huge theater, comfy seats, and virtually no one else there. Awesome. Seriously, maybe 15 people. As expected there were a ton of commercials before the film, one of which had a scene with a couple, um, coupling, didn’t expect that.

Also unexpected was intermission. Seemingly out of nowhere the screen went dark. When it came back on, there was a 10 minute countdown timer. WTF?

Ow.

The movie was great, even though there were Dutch subtitles, though shifting in my seat periodically in an attempt to get comfortable was not great.

On the walk home I passed a gentleman playing Christmas music on an accordion, saw this

and wondered, What’s ‘tegen’ mean? It means “against”.

Arrived back at the house, succumbed to a nap, the movie excursion was over 3 hours, then woke in time to join my brother on a bike ride to Beers & Barrels for dinner. I had tacos.

Ow.

Categories: beer, Geography, netherlands, Original post, Travel, Utrecht | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Been Here Before…

…and since I have I’ve done most of the obligatory touristy things, and since I’m staying with family I can do things like… go grocery shopping.

Grocery shopping in another country is only mildly more interesting than shopping at home but intriguing enough. It’s nerdy fun looking at the same, yet different, foods as well as coming across familiar products like Coke in different sizes. Like I said, mildly more interesting.

After the neighborhood grocery we went to a COSTCOish type store that my brother said was more of a restaurant supply place, now THAT was more intriguing. They had plates made out of wheat…

…jars of weenies…

…large containers of sardines(?), anchovies(?)…

…and United States beef…from the Frozen Butcher? Produced below zero degrees?

Why is production at that temperature important?

The remainder of my afternoon was spent walking to and wandering through Utrecht’s old city center, window shopping, taking a few photos and having a beer in a cafe with the proprietor and his cat. Speaking of cats, I call this one Fuzzy.

Fuzzy because I saw him sitting comfortably in this tranquil, if chilly, space, thought it’d make a good photo, then as I knelt to get a better angle he got up to say, “Hi.” I had to snap the photo quickly, thus Fuzzy.

Some things that caught my eye included her

This

This

That

which was below this

And lastly this, from three sides

Categories: Geography, netherlands, Original post, photography, Travel, Utrecht | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Netherlands Post Visit – Fini

Alas I have run out of pictures to share from the Netherlands so this will be my last post until I venture abroad again; hopefully in the near future. ¬†I will be continuing to post on my other blog¬†http://geowoodward.wordpress.com/¬†which has photos from my adventures in California. ¬†I’ll leave you with a few of my favorites from the Netherlands.

One of my favorite ventures was to the ‘Heineken Experience’, not just because 3 beers were included with the admission price, and there was a horse that shared my name, but because it was ¬†a great place to people watch and I got to personalize an actual bottle of Heineken. The end of the factory tour is set up like a club, disco lights, loud music and table games so people are behaving as if they’re in a club. ¬†One guy in particular caught my attention because he was having his wife circulate around the room collecting all the unfinished beers and pouring them into his glass. ¬†Yep, he was getting hammered. ¬†I happened to be leaving the factory at the same time they were and they were trying to collect their free gift, which could only be collected by visiting the factory store in a different part of town. ¬†Heineken provides a boat from the factory to the store but the last boat of the day had just left; Mr. Hammered had difficulty understanding this, I felt bad for the employee that had to try and help him understand.

Categories: Amsterdam, beer, Geography, netherlands, photography, Travel, Utrecht | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Netherlands Post Visit – Utrecht

Just a few photos taken as I wandered the streets of Utrecht.

Categories: Geography, netherlands, Travel, Utrecht | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Netherlands Post Visit – Neighborhood Park

One day while visiting my brother we took his girls to a local park that had some awesome play structures, critters to pet, and some, uh, art. ¬†I was amazed at the number of people in the park, I mean it was a weekday evening; the parks in my hood aren’t nearly as full, but to be honest they’re lame. ¬†None of the parks near me have these cool things to pet

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nor informational pigs

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or interesting…uh…art

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For some reason these statues made me think of this

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Categories: netherlands, Original post, photography, Travel, Utrecht | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Netherlands Post Visit – Urban Critters

While wandering around Utrecht and Amsterdam I enjoyed occasionally coming across  the occasional urban critter.

Categories: Amsterdam, netherlands, Original post, Pets, photography, Travel, Utrecht | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Netherlands Post Visit – Architecture

Initially walking around Utrecht and Amsterdam I felt like I was in some sort of amusement park. The architecture just kind of had the look of being a little too storybook, if you know what I mean. ¬†Then I was told why they appeared that way. ¬†One reason is that the windows on many Dutch buildings are designed to get smaller as the building gets higher giving the illusion that the structures are taller than they actually are. ¬†Another reason is that Dutch staircases tend to be rater steep and narrow making it difficult to heft furniture up to the top floors. ¬†So the buildings lean outward slightly and many homes have a beam hanging from the top over the street with a pulley at the end to hoist heavy things into the house. ¬†Clever, but it messes with your head a little if you’re not used to it.

Categories: Amsterdam, netherlands, Original post, photography, Travel, Utrecht | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Netherlands Post Visit – Canals

What recounting of a trip to the Netherlands would be complete without mentioning canals?

I have some photos from adventuring in California on my main blog for anyone interested http://geowoodward.wordpress.com/

Categories: Amsterdam, anne frank, Geography, netherlands, Original post, photography, Travel, Utrecht | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Netherlands Post Visit – Doors

What is it about doors?

Categories: Amsterdam, netherlands, Original post, photography, Travel, Utrecht | Tags: , , , , , | 7 Comments

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