Reach for the Stars on the Red Carpet

Gouden Kalf
Utrecht is covered in red carpets once again with the start of the Nederlands Film Festival. Everywhere you look, there are red carpets and golden calves (the prize awarded; think Oscar statuette). Charlie and I regularly see the setup in front of the Stadsschouwburg (City Theater) where many films have their premier. I haven’t been to watch any of the red carpet walks this year, but Charlie is ready for his big debut.
Ready for the Red Carpet
In the past, the large Gouden Kalf (golden calf) statue stood in front of the Stadsschouwburg, but with its recent renovation, along with the opening of the renovated Tivoli Music Palace on the other side of town, the Golden Calf has taken up a spot at Neude, the central square in between the two locations.

We stopped by to see the statue, but Charlie wasn’t that impressed. He was more interested in the three dogs also hanging out in the square. I was more interested in the acrobatics also going on in the square.
Gouden Kalf
(WordPress won’t let me add a video any more, so here’s the YouTube link to the acrobatics.)

After checking out the action at Neude, we wandered down the L’Or Filmboulevard. (Sorry, not the best shot, but with the sun reflecting off the sign and a dog fascinated by everything going on along the Oudegracht, it was a quick snap!)
L'or Filmboulevard
The Filmboulevard is sort of like Utrecht’s version of the Hollywood Walk of Fame. There is a row of plaques in the ground with hand prints (and a pair of foot prints of Carice van Houten, who has won twice) of stars who have won best actor/actress. I think they may have been preparing for a new plaque when we were walking past that morning.
L'or Filmboulevard
Live your dream, Charlie!
L'or Filmboulevard
Carice has nothing on Charlie’s tiny paws!
L'or Filmboulevard

Electric Boats and a Dog

Koningsdag 2014On King’s Day, as we were passing by the Oudegracht, my eye was caught by this beautiful dog. So shiny! So strong and handsome! And of course, he reminded me a bit of Pippo, who I still miss every day.

As I was admiring the dog, I eventually noticed that there were some interesting boats zipping around in the canal. I’m used to a variety of boats in the Oudegracht, from small kayaks and peddle boats to luxury yachts. These boats definitely weren’t luxury vessels, in fact they looked to be about half the size of a kayak, but what they lack in space, they seem to more than make up for in speed and manoeuvrability.Koningsdag 2014It turns out, they’re electric canal boats and they’re now available to rent (I think). They were created by Fred Hulshoff, who has been working on various designs for years. With the electric canal boats, the idea is that they can explore nearly every inch of the waterways. They’re small enough to take through low/tight spaces, and their silent, electric motors allow them to go where noisy motorboats aren’t allowed.Koningsdag 2014I’ve yet to find any detailed information about where to rent them or how much it costs, but they were on the wharf level of the Oudegracht just south of the Vismarkt. If I find any official information, I’ll update.

Utrecht’s Charming Dogs

Can we go now?
I still miss my own dog, Pippo, on a daily basis, but I do love seeing the many dogs found throughout the city on any given day. Many of them take part in events like yesterday’s Stadsdag/Culturele Zondag, tagging along with their owners to listen to some singing and enjoy the sunshine.

When we first arrived at the Stadhuisplein, I noticed this little terrier taking a break under one of the tables set up in the square. When a round of applause went up after the end of a song, he leapt to his feet, thinking that surely it was time to go. There are scents to be sniffed, after all! Why just stay in one spot?!

Unfortunately, he had to stay put, while we headed off to take in a few more sights and sounds. When we got to the Pandhof Sinte Marie, we came across this lovely sheepdog.
Built-in Shade
You may have spotted him in one of my photos yesterday. I admit to having taken more photos of him than of the singers. He was just so adorable! Like the little terrier, he seemed ready to keep exploring, rather than just sitting in one spot.

After the concert, we headed back to Mariaplaats, when who should we see, but our little terrier friend from the first concert!
Happy Dog
He was a dog on a mission, happy to be moving once again! As a result, that was the best photo I could get on such short notice. Still, you can see the happy smile on his face! I wonder if he and the sheepdog ran into it each other.

Utrecht’s not big, but the Stadhuisplein and Mariaplaats aren’t exactly next to each other, so it was a lovely surprise to see him again. I always love running into the same animals multiple times in an outing. Fortunately, it happens quite often!