Bashful Bear

Bashful Bear
It’s not often you spot an ijsbeer (polar bear) in the middle of the Domplein, so I can be excused for wanting to take advantage of this rare occasion and get a few wildlife photos. Sadly, like many animals, a camera makes them a bit shy and bashful. Oh well, better than rage-filled and fast!
Bashful Bear
Bashful Bear(OK, you got me. This one was part of a Greenpeace stand at the kerstmarkt (Christmas market) at the Domplein this last weekend.)

Happy Second Christmas

Kerstmarkt
It’s still technically Christmas — the Dutch celebrate Tweede Kerstdag (Second Christmas Day) today — so I thought I’d share a few photos taken from last weekend’s kerstmarkt (Christmas market) that was held this year behind the stadhuis (city hall, the big building in the background, also the location of the signing of the Treaty of Utrecht if you remember my postings from earlier this year).

We went to the market twice: once during the day and again in the evening to take in the lights. Of course, we were also enticed back by the witte gluhwein (a spiced, warm, white wine) and more poffertjes. This time, the poffertjes were made in the back of a converted car that was absolutely brilliant! The poffertjes were excellent, too.
Kerstmarkt
Kerstmarkt
Kerstmarkt
There were lots of places to get food, stalls set up with gifts, a little shed with books free for the taking, and a charming swing merry-go-round, along with a bouncy castle for the kids that was shaped like a snow globe.

The market was nice during the day, but really came alive during the evening, even at the end of the weekend and a weekend with less than stellar weather. It definitely helped get us a bit more in the Christmas spirit.

I hope you’ve all had a good first and second Christmas and wish you all happy holidays.
Kerstmarkt
Kerstmarkt
Kerstmarkt
Kerstmarkt
Kerstmarkt
Kerstmarkt

A Trip to the Handmade Market

Zelfgemaakte Markt
The winter market season is in full swing, it seems, with the Zelfgemaakte Markt (Handmade Market) today, the Christmas edition of the Streekmarkt tomorrow, and the Christmas market that runs from 19-22 December around the Ganzenmarkt/Stadhuis area next week. Lots of great stuff to be found for last-minute Christmas gifts (or for yourself).

The Zelfgemaakte Markt is held a few times each year, but I keep missing it, so I was determined to finally go today. I’m so glad I did! So many pretty/funny/cute/useful/gorgeous things for sale! I saw some decorative plates and bowls that I almost bought, but then I came across the Studio Ellessi stall and I knew that was where I’d be spending the small bit of cash I had with me.
Studio Ellessi
She does these wonderful line drawings of various Utrecht locations and I wish I’d had more money with me, because I was having a hard time making up my mind which print to get! In the end, I went with a view of the Domtoren along the Oudegracht/Vismarkt, since it’s a favourite view and also goes well with one of the vintage prints I’ve purchased recently. Along with the Paushuize print, I’ve now got a nice little collection of Utrecht prints to frame and hang somewhere.
Utrecht Kunst
At some point, I’ll probably be ordering her print of Orloff at the Donkere Gaard, another favorite of mine. In fact, we walked past there today and I couldn’t help but stop to admire their Santa decoration.
Donkere Gaard KerstmisSantaSo the next time the Zelfgemaakte Markt is in town, definitely make a point of stopping by. There’s a fantastic mix of stuff and much of it is really affordable, on top of being well made. I was particularly impressed by the variety of items on offer, too, as sometimes it seems like the bulk of stuff is for children. There was plenty on hand for adults — of all maturity levels. There’s also food and drink for sale, including gevulde speculaas and cranberry gluhwein, and a few spots to sit and enjoy them there in the market.
Zelfgemaakte Markt
Zelfgemaakte Markt
Zelfgemaakte Markt
Liefde
Mariapomp