Misty Morning Walk

Misty Herenbrug

I used to joke about taking Pippo on “death marches”, when we’d go for extra long walks around town. This morning, Charlie was the one who took me on a death march. There was no stopping him today. Though for every one step I took, I think he took about 30, moving like a sidewinder down every street and sniffing every doorway. He even took a brief detour through the front door of one of the new restaurants on Zadelstraat before I could rein him in. Fortunately, they didn’t seem to mind.

Sunday mornings remain one of my favorite times to go for long walks through the city. It’s quiet and the only other people out are fellow dog walkers and joggers/runners. Today started off quite misty, as you can see in the picture above. That was the first photo of the day, as we headed off to do some plastic recycling. Eventually, we ended up on the other side of the city, and while the mist was burning off, it still lingered enough to make some of the views and scenery that bit more ethereal and dreamy.

At one point, we ended up going down one of the narrow streets that leads to the Catherijn church and museum. The tower top was just barely visible in the mist.
Misty Catharijn
Eventually we ended up on the west side of town, with another view of the stadsbuitengracht, the canal that rings the old city center. The first photo was of the same canal, just on the eastern side of the city. The mist had lifted, but enough remained to give a soft view in the distance. We found a nice spot to pause (catch my breath), and enjoy the artwork and the scenery.
Canal Art
As we headed back home, I caught a glimpse of the Domtoren rising over the rooftops, but still shrouded in mist that high up. I couldn’t resist taking a picture.
Misty Domtoren

Foto Vrijdag: Reflections in a Window

Domtoren window reflectionI used to do a weekly Foto Vrijdag (Photo Friday) thing, but that morphed into Wordless Wednesday. Maybe now I’ll do both. This was a reflection of the Domtoren and part of the Pausdam in a window early this morning. Another bright, blue sky, autumn day.

Morning Light

Morning Light
I remember taking a similar picture not that long after moving here, when I would take Pippo out in the mornings. The light on this section of the Wittevrouwensingel is often like this in the morning. Slightly misty and dreamy, with sparkles of sunlight. If you have to get up early in the morning to take a dog out, at least it’s nice to have such pretty scenery. I’m enjoying getting out and enjoying the view once again.

Charlie and the Golden Calf

Gouden Kalf
The annual Nederlands Film Festival is going on right now, and since the Stadschouwburg is undergoing renovation, the Gouden Kalf (Golden Calf) statue has been moved to Neude this year. Neude has always been one of the spots for the film festival. Pippo and I used to go check out the setup in years past. This year, the old postkantoor (post office) is also being used for some of the festival events. Charlie and I took a walk over yesterday morning to see the sights.
Gouden Kalf
Nederlands Film Festival
Nederlands Film Festival
While the Gouden Kalf was one of the things I wanted to see on the walk, my main destination was the square behind the Stadhuis. I had seen mentions on Twitter about 3D chalk art and wanted to see it for myself, especially before the festival was over or before the rains came again.

We were fortunate to have come at it from the correct angle, so it was fairly clear to see the image right away. But as we stood there at the official viewing spot, we saw people coming from the opposite direction and actually standing on the piece and not having any idea of what it was. It wasn’t until they got to the viewing spot that they realized.

Here’s Charlie sitting in the viewing spot (though getting distracted):
3D Chalk Art
3D Chalk Art
The piece depicts some of the symbols of Utrecht and the festival, with the Domtoren to the right, the Golden Calf in the center, standing in the Oudegracht, and the Inktpot with the UFO shown on the left, among other items.

As I said, if you come at it from the right angle, it’s easy to see. But when you see it from any other side, you realize how unusual and impressive it is!
Nederlands Film Festival
I’ve seen photos of work like this before, but this was the first I’ve seen in person. Definitely worth seeing, and a nice addition to the decorations around town for the festival.

Introducing Charlie

CharlieSo, a few of you noticed that I haven’t blogged in quite a while. I appreciate you reaching out and apologize for not responding directly. I’m ok, but various things meant that I had no desire to blog and didn’t really want to talk about it all. I’m still not sure how much I want to get back into blogging. Right now it feels like a lot of work on top of my actual work. But I do have a reason to get out and about a bit more now, so if nothing else, I’ll hopefully have photos to post!

I’ve missed having a dog to go on long walks with regularly, so a couple of months ago, I started searching for a new canine companion. It was surprisingly difficult, mainly because of our two cats. Finding a dog that could live with cats, get along with other dogs, and stay home alone for a few hours was a surprisingly big ask. A few times, we thought we’d found a dog, but it would either be adopted before we had a chance to see him or it turned out he wasn’t ok with cats or something or other.

Finally, last week, on my daily searches of various dierenasiel (animal shelter) websites, I came across a Staffordshire terrier who sounded like he would be a good fit. After exchanging a few emails with the shelter, it seemed like things could work out, so we asked them to reserve him for us until we could get there on Monday. (They’re all closed on Sundays and our weekends are Sunday and Monday.)

So yesterday morning, we headed out to Rotterdam to go see about a dog. I’m going to give you the condensed version as he’s currently trying to use my arm as a chew toy and sticking his big head up under my arm. Obviously, we got him. He’s only one year old, so he’s still got a lot of puppy enthusiasm. But he’s wonderful on walks! Not so great in the car, though. We knew he had the potential to be car sick, but we managed to get all the way to Utrecht, just minutes before we were home before he decided to be sick. Of course. Since then, we’ve been to see a few sights around Utrecht, though his selfie game needs work. He found a Nijntje yesterday. Charlie
He took a tour through the Pandhof at the cathedral.

And today he took in some 3D chalk art by the Stadhuis (more on that tomorrow). 3D Chalk ArtAfter that mini wrestling match a few minutes ago, he’s now passed out on the sofa next to me, snoring away. He’s a big snorer.

As for the cats, he’s been fine with them, just curious. They, on the other hand, are not happy. Luna’s dealing better than Lola, which is funny, since Lola is the one who used to follow Pippo around everywhere. Oh well, I’m sure she’ll come around.

Greek with a French Twist

Greek FrenchMykonos, besides being a Greek island, is a restaurant here in Utrecht just off of Neude. When I passed by the other weekend during the Tour de France Grand Depart events, I couldn’t help but notice a certain French bistro touch to the outside that I don’t remember. Or maybe I’ve just been oblivious. Either way, it’s pretty and charming. Greek French