Foto Vrijdag: Signs of Spring

Ice Cream Man
Spring may well be over, based on the weather today and the forecast for the next few days. But at least I got to enjoy a tiny bit of the beautiful spring weather we had last weekend. As I walked past Lepelenburg Park last Sunday, I saw this ice cream van pull up beneath the tree. I loved the bright pop of red beneath the soft green tree against the beautiful blue sky. I was also very tempted to stop for an ice cream, but figured I’d be good, especially since I was planning on going to sit on a terrace and enjoy a beer or two later!

I’ve got a Caturday post for you tomorrow, so stop by if you want to see a cute cat.

And because I can’t look at this photo without thinking of Tom Waits’ song, Ice Cream Man, here you go:

Tune In Tomorrow

I have a post about a small museum in town that I’ve been meaning to write since November, but I keep forgetting. Today, I got my photos loaded up to Flickr, but to be honest, I’m een beetje moe (a little tired) and don’t feel like working on the translation I’d need to do to give you the proper information. So instead, here’s a teaser of what’s to come. This photo of Droste Cacao, a popular Dutch cocoa powder, shows one of the exhibits at the museum. Plus, if I post this without any further info, it puts pressure on me to actually get the full post up this weekend, so you’re not left wondering. Think of today’s post as a cliffhanger!

Foto Vrijdag: Tree Edition

A photo left over from our snowfall a couple of weeks ago. Not much to post this week, as I’m still working on this one project and now I’m coming down with a cold to make life more fun.

My thoughts go out to the royal family. The queen’s second eldest son, Prince Friso, was seriously injured in an avalanche today while skiing in Austria. He’s in critical condition, but they say he’s at least stable. I hope he recovers fully.

Foto Vrijdag: Wilbert and Willibrord

Wilbert en Wilibrord
I enjoy the world-between-worlds effect of photographing reflections in windows. With or without a bit of manipulation of contrast, you can find interesting juxtapositions of interiors and exteriors. On January 1, as I was out wandering the quiet city, my eye was caught by the reflection of the Willibrord church in the window of a hi-fi equipment store on Domstraat. The reflection against the window signage created an interesting billboard, particularly since the name Wilbert was there, a name close to the name of the church reflected. The final crowning glory to the image was the almost glitter-like glow from the interior light shining against the glass.

Foto Vrijdag: Reflections of Amsterdam

Amsterdam Bridge at Night
One of the things I like about Dutch cities is the way they use a variety of lights to add to the overall appeal. You can make the most of cheap holidays by simply wandering the streets of any decent-size Dutch city — Amsterdam, Utrecht, Gouda, Delft — soaking up the sights and the sounds. Many of the canal bridges throughout the country often have special lighting of some sort, turning a simple walk through town into a fantastic light show, as you can see in this photo of one of the many Amsterdam canal bridges. Of course, Utrecht has taken it all to new levels with the Trajectum Lumen light art display. Every night, you can enjoy everything from simple blue lights under the canal bridges to high-tech digital light displays in hidden canal nooks.

Foto Vrijdag: Birdy

This is a leftover from our misty weekend. This weekend we’re just looking at rain. Nowhere near as much fun! Maybe I’ll go ahead and put up my Christmas decorations this weekend. Or not. Technically, the tree isn’t supposed to go up in the Netherlands until after pakjesavond on 5 December, which is the end of the Sinterklaas celebrations. I suppose my plans will decide on motivation and the lure of a comfy sofa, warm fleece blankets, the occasional cat, and hot cups of coffee.

Whatever your weekend plans, I hope they’re enjoyable. Fijn weekend!

Foto Vrijdag: Autumn Colors

Autumn Domtoren
Our summer may have been miserable, but our autumn has been fantastic. Today was surprisingly warm and the sunlight and the autumn colors added to the beauty of the day. I was shooting straight into the sun, resulting in some sunbursts and wild colors, but I love this view of the tree full of orange and yellow leaves accompanying the Domtoren rising up over the city rooftops. It’s a sight that never fails to put a smile on my face.

Here’s another view of the trees along the Wittevrowensingel. Not quite as technicolor as my first photo, but still full of beautiful autumn colors. The leaves are all going out in a blaze of glory!

Foto Vrijdag: Points of Interest

Points of Interest
This photo of the Catharijneconvent was taken at the same time and basically the same spot as the photo of the Domtoren I posted yesterday. The setting sun on all of these beautiful architectural details thrilled me. And yes, that is a painted bull’s head on the building to the left. It’s known as the Kleine Vleeshal, or the small meat hall. It is a 15th century building and was used by the butcher’s guild to sell the meat.

Foto (Heavy) Vrijdag: Post Office Carvings

Along with the soaring ceiling and the beautiful glazed golden bricks that make the post office in Utrecht so stunning, the totem-like black carvings throughout make the interior something unique. Along both of the long walls are figures representing the continents (minus Antarctica). Each one features an animal at the base that generally matches up with the continent. Europa has horses, Australia has kangaroos, America(s) has bison/buffalo, Asia has elephants, and Africa has camels.





There are additional animal figures at the ends of the buildings, including these Vikingesque creatures:

And my favorite, olifanten (elephants)!

Foto Vrijdag: Still in Bloom

Mooie Straat
It’s definitely getting chillier here, but there are still some flowers in bloom. I came across this narrow, small side street the other day while out on my walk. I’ve seen it before, of course, since it’s right off the Oudegracht, but never got such a good shot of it. I love the flower boxes in the arched windows, and the ivy around the door frame. Add in the pink and red mass of flowers on the left that hang from many of the light posts here in the city, and it is a nice last touch of summer before winter’s arrival. The curving row of houses, the old-fashioned lamp, and the narrow brick pathway all add to the picturesque scene. It’s one of the many small streets throughout the city that just make me smile when I see them.