Shades of Escher

As I mentioned last week, Saturday was Open Monument Day here in Utrecht. We did end up visiting the Academiegebouw over in the Domplein and had a really great experience. It’s a beautiful building and I’ll post more about it this week once I get the photos sorted and uploaded. For now, here’s a photo of one of the staircases.

As I stood there looking down, I couldn’t help but think of the artist M.C. Escher, a Dutch graphic artist known for his mind-bending, maze-like designs. His piece titled Relativity is the work that the staircase reminded me of specifically. It’s not the first time I’ve taken a photo here and had thoughts of Escher. Sometimes the different planes and angles of rooftops and balconies can create some disorienting images.

Random Bits and Bobs

Sometimes there’s stuff that comes up that doesn’t fit any one theme. This is one of those days. The following is a collection of various news stories, things to do, and a tiny bit of bragging.

  • It probably won’t make the news outside of the Netherlands and Germany, but we had an earthquake here in the Netherlands last night. It was a 4.5, but fairly shallow, although still supposedly felt across a fairly long distance. But no, I didn’t feel it. There was one in my part of Queens while I was living in New York, but I didn’t feel that one, either. Fortunately, there was no real damage other than the odd greenhouse getting a bit wobbly. It’s unusual in that the Netherlands doesn’t sit on the edge of any tectonic plates, so we don’t usually get earthquakes, although there was a bigger one in 1992 that caused some damage. Between the heavy rain and storms and now the earthquake, I might as well be back on the east coast of the US!
  • Tomorrow is Open Monument Day here in Utrecht. Many historic buildings in both the city center and the outer areas of the city will be open to the public. The theme is New Uses for Old Buildings, with an emphasis on buildings that have changed their purpose over the years. For example, the Louis Hartlooper Complex used to be a police station, but is now a movie theater, among other things. I think we’ll probably go explore a few buildings, like the Academiegebouw and the University Library over on the Drift.


  • And now the bragging bit. It seems my blog was included in a Greentraveller Guide to Utrecht. Considering I was the only blog specifically that was included, I’m feeling pretty chuffed. That’s enough about that, though.

Have a great weekend!

Peace Is Possible

Yesterday was the International Day of Peace. Events were held around the world, some private, some public. Here in Utrecht, there were various lectures and performances taking place at the Cathedral, the Academiegebouw, and out in the Domplein. I stopped by briefly in the afternoon to see a bit of the balloon event taking place on the Domplein.

The logo on the balloons was designed by Dick Bruna, an Utrecht native, and creator of Nijntje/Miffy.

The Academiegebouw (one of the original buildings of the University of Utrecht) was the site of some of the lectures and presentations. It was festooned, as were many of the buildings around the Domplein (Dom Square) with the rainbow Vrede (Peace) flags.

A few of the volunteers hanging out before giving out the balloons.

Somewhat appropriately, this statue is a memorial specifically in memory of WWII, but now serves as an unofficial memorial for all victims of the World Wars. The statue stands where the nave of the cathedral used to stand before it was destroyed in a storm.