Cultural Sunday

For the first time in days, we had sunshine today. A nice break from the rain we’ve been having for the past week, and the rain it looks like we’re expecting next week. Today also happens to be the monthly Cultural Sunday, which has a changing theme each month. This month the focus is on the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. We took advantage of the sunshine and headed over to the Stadhuis (the old city hall) by the Oudegracht to see the temporary wall that is being built on the square. Many of the blocks making up this wall feature comments from people in regard to the Berlin Wall and the lack of freedom many experienced as a result. One comment that I saw was from someone whose parents were Hungarian and who didn’t have the freedom to travel at will. This person, however, does have that freedom and says to appreciate the freedoms we have now.

We also went into the Stadhuis to see if there was anything that we could look at/take part in, that didn’t require an understanding of Dutch. Not much luck, but we did get to see some animation stills that are on display as part of the Holland Animation Film Festival also going on this week.

After wandering around for a while, we decided to stop at the Winkel van Sinkel and have a coffee on the terrace before heading over to Albert Heijn for a bit of grocery shopping. It’s that time of year again when a few more shops — especially grocery stores — are open (or open earlier) on Sundays. It seems to last through the holiday season. Just long enough to get you used to it to make you than miss it when everything goes back to the closed-on-Sunday hours in the new year.

5 thoughts on “Cultural Sunday

  1. The Cultural Sunday sounds cool! I don’t think we have anything like that down here… I might need to do some snooping.

    I’m not at all familiar with Utrecht so I’m hoping you might have a vague idea *L* Is there anywhere good to eat dinner within walking distance of the station? I have a group of people looking for somewhere to eat and I’m clueless!

    • One of the joys of Utrecht is that everything is within walking distance of the station. I live on the eastern edge of the old city center (the station being the western edge), but it still only takes me about 10 minutes tops to walk to the station. That said, the Oudegracht, which is the main canal in the city center, and also one of the most famous areas, is an easy walk to the station and also the site of lots of restaurants.

      Depending on the type of food, there’s always the classic pannenkoeken restaurant, which is housed in an old money-minting site. (

      For something a bit more straightforward, directly across the canal from the muntkelder is Oudaen, which is housed in a 13th century castle. (

      A little further down the canal is Abrikoos ( It’s a chain of Mediterranean and tapas food restaurants, but we had a really nice dinner there and keep meaning to go back.

      Finally, if you want something fairly simple and tasty, the Balkan Boro Grill, a Hungarian restaurant, also on the Oudegracht, is quite nice. Lots of meat done simply but done well. (

      If none of those really appeal, there are tons of choices all along the Oudegracht, so really you can just walk and choose something that appeals to everyone. It’s also the main tourist thoroughfare in town, but don’t let that scare you off. We just don’t get massive groups of tourists like Amsterdam, so it’s not tacky at all. Let me know if I can be of any more help.

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