Weekly Photo Challenge: Resolved

The first weekly photo challenge of the year deals with the not surprising concept of resolutions. I’ve been meaning to go to the restaurant/cafeteria at the V&D store in the Hoog Catherijne mall for some time now, in order to take advantage of the view out over the city. The restaurant has a wall of windows that give a great view, but seating next to the window is limited and the one time I had tried to go, it was too full for me to get anywhere near the windows.

A friend and I had been talking about going during the latter part of last year, but things came up that prevented our visit. Fortunately, we were able to fulfil this particular resolution quite early in the year, meeting up on Thursday late enough in the afternoon to eventually be able to swoop in on a table by the windows. It’s fascinating to see the city from this viewpoint. Almost all of the streets seem to disappear, leaving only rooftops, but you can still pick out lots of landmarks and general areas of town based on the rooftops.


Even more amazing was seeing how massive the Domtoren (the large bell tower in the center) looks, even when seen from this perspective. If anything, it looked even bigger than ever!

We stuck around long enough to see the early evening darkness settle and the lights of the city begin to come on. I liked that there were only one or two streets that you could really see from that vantage point, but at night, they shone with the brightly coloured holiday lights that are still up. They create little streams and pools of light and colour against the inky blue of the sky and city. I’m so glad I finally got to experience the view for myself.

18 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Resolved

    • I’m not really sure. I’m guessing it stays up until at least Jan 6, which is some sort of religiously significant day (which one, I can’t remember at the moment).

    • I was thinking of Epiphany, but wasn’t positive. Thanks for the reminder. I usually take the decorations down after NYE, too, but I’m keeping them up until at least the 6th to have an excuse to keep the tree lights up. They add a nice bit of colour and light to the dreary days!

    • The rest of the buildings are typical 2/3/4 storey buildings. The bell tower is the highest in the Netherlands and stands 112.5 metres (368 feet) tall. It’s an amazing structure.

  1. this is one of my favorite views of the city. I love looking at all of the roofs. but you are right, it is a challenge to get a seat at the window, but it is so worth the wait and effort!

  2. Hi Alison. Great photo’s, I haven’t checked mine yet hope they turned out ok too. I loved how all the streets seem to disappear from this viewpoint, as if some giant pair of hands has shoved all the buildings closer together ๐Ÿ™‚ I also love how the Dom towers over the city, just like it must have done in medieval times. I’m so glad the city doesn’t allow ugly highrise buildings near the Dom tower! Anyway, glad we finally had the chance to “swoop” a table with a view ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. The Dom tower does look rather ominous with only a few point of light shining on it. I guess all Gothic architecture has a certain “dark” feel to it, especially at night. When the bats come out and gargoyles come to life…. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • The irony is that pretty much the point of Gothic architecture was to celebrate light, both literally and figuratively. Abbot Suger, who was influential in the building of the first Gothic church, was fascinated with the concept of light and the light of God. He wanted to replicate this idea of light into the actual building of the St. Denis church in Paris that he was in charge of.

      The architectural innovations allowed more light into the churches and created buildings that didn’t appear as heavy and boxy as the older Romanesque and Norman churches. Yet the fantastical elements of the design have helped make Gothic now synonymous with vampires and darkness and scary (fun) stuff.

      And there endeth my art history lesson for the day. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. I know that the Gothic architecture is all about light, but then Bram Stoker sort of ruined it for Abbot Suger ๐Ÿ™‚ Let’s say Suger has the days when the light beams in through the stained glass, Stoker has the nights when the gargoyles loom over unsuspected passers by in the mist…

  5. You should check out the series Pillars of the Earth, a nice series about the idea and building of the “first” Gothic cathedral. Based on a book, but I forgot the title..

    • I think Giovanni has been reading the book series. The problem is that I tend to read mainly at night and the books are so massive that they’re too heavy to hold up when I’m already tired. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. Great photos. The V&D cafeteria in Haarlem is the same (up really high) and as you said, you only see roof tops not streets. It always makes it fun trying to figure out where the streets we know are ๐Ÿ™‚

    • The churches definitely help me figure out which direction I’m looking at, since even the Stadhuis barely shows up from this angle! That’s cool that it’s something V&D seems to make some effort to offer around the country.

  7. The V&D store in Eindhoven has a rooftop restaurant as well (with outdoor seating). Not the great view to match though, as Eindhoven isn’t a particularly beautiful city (it was bombed during WW2)

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