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!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Today (in Utrecht)

Kabouter Bloemen
Today is a beautiful day in Utrecht. Perfect for celebrating the city’s 890th anniversary of its official city status. There are a variety of events going on around town and I visited some today and took a few pictures along the way. Here are a few of the highlights, although I’ll probably expand on some details in other posts.

To start the day off, I walked through the bloemenmarkt (flower market) at Janskerkhof, which is where I saw the flowers above. I’d seen someone else post a photo of them on Twitter earlier in the morning and couldn’t resist seeing them for myself. So pretty! They’re called kabouter something or other, which is fun, since kabouter is the Dutch word for gnomes. It’s a great name for them!

Rode Loper Dagen
I also walked a red carpet! One of the streets has lined its sidewalks with red carpets. I think there are a lot of sales on this particular street this weekend.

Buurkerk
Then it was over to the Buurkerk (kerk=church) to see the specially opened Buurtoren (toren=tower), with information on bell ringing. The tower is part of the bigger church, which is now a museum dedicated to musical organs, music boxes, and similar musical items.

Little Blue Auto

Then it was on to the Domplein, the historic center of the city where the cathedral now stands, and where the Romans first built a fort almost 2000 years ago. The city has been an official city for 890 years, but it’s been an important site for much longer! There in the Domplein (plein=square), I saw this cute little blue car. More to come about that in another post.

Pandhof

From there, I headed into the cathedral’s cloister garden to enjoy the view and take in the wonderful gothic architecture, as well as the flowers. It’s a wonderful spot to sit and relax. From there, I could also hear the bell concert coming from the Domtoren, which was decked out in the city’s official flag.
Celebrating 890 Years

To go along with the concert, there was also some dancing as a preview of the Cultural Sunday dance events taking place tomorrow. This group of dancers was dancing along to the bell concert, moving around the memorial statue.
Utrecht Danst

Finally, I decided to head down Zadelstraat to visit one of the local bakeries that has a special chocolate treat that seemed perfect for today. This bakery has been making a Domtorentje chocolate since the early 1900s. I’ve been wanting to try one since I first heard about it recently. In the shop, I was not the only buying the Domtorentjes! I’m sure they’re selling a lot today!
Domtorentje

Next door to the bakery is a furniture shop that I mentioned recently. They’re famous for their bulldogs who like to lounge on the chairs placed out front. I posted photos of one of them last week and couldn’t resist another shot of one of them today. He looks so happy on his throne with his tongue sticking out!
Shop Dog

I hope you enjoyed my photographic tour of what I saw today in Utrecht. It’s been a beautiful day and I’m glad I got to help celebrate the city’s anniversary.

Celebrating Utrecht

There’s a lot going on in Utrecht this weekend. Here are a few highlights of some of the bigger events.

Roman Walls [Day 126/365]
Utrecht is celebrating its 890th birthday tomorrow. It was 2 June 1122 when keizer Hendrik V (Emperor Henry V) granted official cityhood to Utrecht. Of course, the city has been around in one form or another for much longer. You can see some of the 3D depictions of what part of the city looked like if you click on this link.

To celebrate this anniversary, there will be a variety of festivities tomorrow for Stadsdag (City Day). Starting at 10 a.m., there will be tours, special programs and performances and much more. You can see the full program listing on the official website. I’m still trying to work out which events to go to, such as the tour of the Buurkerk clock tower and the Domcarrillion concert. There’s also a lot of stuff going on at the Utrechts Archief (archives), so hopefully the weather will cooperate!

To go along with the look back at Utrecht in the past, you might want to check out this documentary that the RTV Utrecht channel aired recently. Even if you can’t understand the Dutch, you might be interested in seeing video of the Domplein area, which I post frequently, including in both of these photos.

Dance
On Sunday, it’s time for another Culturele Zondag (Cultural Sunday). This month’s theme is dance, with all sorts of dance styles being represented by professionals and amateurs alike. Throughout the city, there will be performances in shops, museums, theaters, and even on the street. In fact, Voorstraat will be the site of a street festival, with dancing, live music, DJs, and special tours.

Finally, on Sunday, there’s also the latest edition of De Streekmarkt on Twijnstraat. This outdoor market features some of the best of organic and local food items. The next one isn’t held until September, so you might want to be sure to check it out this month to see what special summer items are on hand.