See You Later Alligator


Not my usual picture of Utrecht or the Domtoren. This one’s a bit grey and gloomy, especially when you look at the Domtoren’s clock and see that it’s 12:30, as in midday. That’s about as bright as it got yesterday, though at least it didn’t rain.

This past weekend was the seemingly citywide Christmas market festival. Mariaplaats, Stadhuisplein, Neude, Janskerkhof, Twijnstraat and other locations were hosting a variety of festivities. I usually enjoy it, but it didn’t seem as fun this year. The Zelfgemaakte Markt at Mariaplaats was great, as always, but the Stadhuisplein was pretty empty, while Twijnstraat was bigger and busier than ever, to the point that it was too crowded. We got our traditional cup of gluhwein and headed away from the crowds to sit and enjoy the mulled wine by the canal.

Perhaps the grey weather and the not-quite-so-enjoyable Christmas markets were Utrecht’s way of making me feel a little less sad about leaving.

Yup. We’re moving on. It’s not really what we had expected or planned, but it is what’s happening. After eight years in Utrecht, we’re now moving to Italy. In one month exactly. Stressful, depressing, and by the way if you need any furniture, kitchen odds and ends, it’s all for sale and we still have to pack and get the pets’ passports and ahhhhhhhhhhh!!!!

We’re heading to Bologna next, where I plan on doing some more blogging. After all, I have a degree in art history with an emphasis on Italian Renaissance architecture, so if you think I did a lot of research on stuff here in Utrecht, you can imagine what I’ll be like there!

Still, I’ll miss Utrecht and the Domtoren and the Domtuin/Pandhof and the Spoetnikkijker. I certainly have plenty of photos of them all to remember them by, but it won’t be quite the same. But Bologna is a stunning city and I’m sure I’ll find some new favorite spots.

I certainly hope to do a little more blogging here, as there’s stuff I’ve yet to get around to posting about and a few things I want to see one last time or see before I leave. I’ll keep this blog up, too, as it still gets its fair share of visitors. And hopefully some of you will follow me virtually to Italy. Last time I was there I was using film and not a very good photographer. I can’t wait to improve on all of my grainy photos!





33 thoughts on “See You Later Alligator

  1. I’ll miss photos of my beloved Netherlands! But Italy! Think of it! ITALY! I can understand it’s hard to move on, hard to leave a city you’ve come to call home. But this is an exciting new chapter and I wish you all the best. I’ll be here, in North Carolina (and sometimes in the Netherlands) following your adventures and cheering you on!

    • This is the longest I’ve lived in one place since I was a teenager, but I’ve enjoyed getting to know the city and its history and little corners so well. But I suppose I’m also getting a bit restless and I’m looking forward to exploring more of Italy, which I’ve always loved. Thanks for following along!

  2. So long and good luck! Utrecht looses an interesting resident. Thanks for all your very enjoyable work. Your blog posts and pictures were a great foreign view on my city. I don’t live in Utrecht anymore, but it still feels like my city. I think you’ll take a bit of Utrecht with you as well. All the best to the both of you and your pets!

    • Thank you so much! And thank you for sharing your own memories of Utrecht with me. Cycling in Bologna is a bit different from here, so I’m sure I’ll be writing a few posts on that topic. 🙂

  3. Good luck with your move! I’ve really enjoyed all your photos and I feel as though I’ve gotten to know Utrecht a little, although I’ve never officially visited. I look forward to seeing Bologna through your eyes.

    • Thank you! It’s been fun getting to share the city with people all over the world, really. I’m glad to hear you’ll be sticking around for my Bolognese adventures!

  4. I will miss you Alison. We didn’t do as much together as I’d have hoped but I still always thought of you as “my friend in Utrecht” . Luckily I’ll get to ninja hug you before you go xxx

  5. Sorry to see you leave my home town, I always enjoyed and looked forward to your posts as I don’t live there anymore either(Canada). Good luck in your new adventure!

    • Thank you. I’ve always loved being able to share Utrecht with Utrechters who aren’t living here any more. Now it will be my turn to look at pictures of the city with nostalgia!

  6. Sorry to know that you are leaving Utrecht. I have really enjoyed your blog which has had so many interesting insights and information about the city. Anyway, you are moving to another great city. I wish you well.

    • Thank you! I’ve been so happy to have so many positive reactions to my blog over the years. It’s been fun learning and sharing about the city. Now to do it all over again in a new city! 🙂

  7. I am so sorry to hear you are leaving, have enjoyed your blog so much, giving me new insights into Utrecht, however I love Bologna, the buildings are just as beautiful as Utrecht (the food of course is to die for) and nothing beats the early evening drinks with titbits in the bars around town. Of all the places in the world to move to I think it will have as much beauty, history
    and atmosphere with hopefully better weather. Enjoy

    • Thank you. As much as I will miss Utrecht, I am very excited about finally living in Italy after various visits. My real passion is Italian Renaissance architecture, so this will be heaven in some ways! 🙂

  8. Sorry to hear you leave the Netherlands. I always loved to read your observations about our country and habits. You had settled very well in Utrecht I think with an own winery shop. Sad to leave it all behind. Wish you all the best in Italy and hope you will continue your blog there.

    • Thank you! I really have loved learning about Utrecht and making it home for these past years. It will always be a part of me, but I do look forward to delving into Bologna and other parts of Italy. I hope you’ll follow along with the new blog. 🙂

  9. I’ve always loved Rietveld as you know, and through this blog I was able to learn a lot more about him and Utrecht as a whole. I guess it was the next best thing to being there. Thank you for that, and best of luck with the move to Bologna.

    Looking forward to the new blog. 🙂

    • I’m so glad I could share my love of Rietveld with others and take you on virtual tours, in a way! The architecture will be a bit older in Bologna, but there will certainly be lots of passion for it on my side! I hope you enjoy!

  10. Bologna will welcome you with open arms. And so will do your very own Flaneur 🙂 Oh, pets… did you say pets? Please provide name, breed, size. I already know we’ll have lots to talk about, starting with my two super fluffy cats Luppolo (“hops”) and Magò (Mad Madam Mim). See you soon!

    • We have two black cats who have travelled with us from the US to NL and now to Italy! Luna is the grand dame at 20 and Lola is in her mid teens but still quite playful at times. Charlie is our two-year-old Staffordshire mix who is an absolute sweetheart. I adopted him just over a year ago and look forward to going on long walks with him to explore Bologna. We had another another large mix-breed dog named Pippo when we first moved here. He passed away four years ago, but I loved exploring Utrecht with him. I can go on and on and on about my pets and always love hearing about other people’s furry friends! 🙂

      • Oh! Then we’ll have lots and lots to talk! I can discuss pets and particularly cuddle them for ages! I do not have a dog (yet), but specialize in petting and massaging their bellies and heads until they are completely “neutralized” with relaxation. Cannot wait to meet Charlie then! (And curious about the “grand dame”. Won’t call “old” poor sweet 14 YO Magò anymore)

  11. You were a wonderful ambassador for Utrecht and it will be really fun to get to know Bologna better with you as a guide. I’ve only been there once many years ago but I feel like it could be Utrecht’s sister city (college town, easy to explore on foot, lots of interesting history, extremely photogenic). Especially looking forward to seeing the cats of Bologna!
    I’m sorry I never met you in person; from your photos and posts I know our paths crossed hundreds of times over the years. I suspected something was up a few months ago when out biking and noticed Vino Veritas was no more. Best of luck to you & your husband & pets.

    • Thank you for such kind words! I think Utrecht and Bologna are quite similar, as you said, so I’m looking forward to delving into all of the history and art and architecture and food and hopefully a few cats, too! 🙂

  12. Sorry to see you are leaving! Best of luck on your new Journey. I’ve followed since my stay in Utrecht back in 2012. Looking forward to following along in Italy as I sit in Dallas, TX.

    Best of luck to you Alison!

    • Thank you so much! It really is wonderful to hear from so many people who have been following along for years. I love that I’ve been able to share my love of Utrecht with others. I’m glad to hear you’ll be following along in Italy!

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