Centraal and the Moreelsebrug

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The Utrecht Centraal train station has been undergoing a massive renovation for what feels like years and years. I rarely go to the station, so the few times I do, usually to meet up with visiting friends, it’s been a challenge to figure out where to meet, as various sections and shops have been closed off at different times.

But the main work seems to be done now and it actually looks pretty nice. I like the rolling wave effect of the new roof, visible inside and out.

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The foggy photo was taken from the new Moreelsebrug, a bridge that allows people to cross the train tracks without having to go inside the station or take a much longer route around the station. It has some nice views already and will probably have more when the rest of the construction at the Hoog Catharijne shopping mall is finally finished.

As well as being foggy that day, it was also really cold, especially up higher in the air like that, so Charlie and I didn’t stay long and I didn’t get as many thoughtful photos. However, if you want to read more about the bridge and see some better photos and video, I highly recommend you check out the recent post at Bicycle Dutch. I’m short on time trying to pack up and sell everything, so Mark’s post couldn’t have come at a better time for me. I can just post a bunch of photos and you can read his expertly researched and interesting post. Win win!

For now, a few more photos inside and outside the train station and the bridge. Hopefully in the next day or so I can post a few pics of one of the newer art installations that has gone up outside the station on the Jaarbeurs side.

Cycling path on the right, walking path on the left of the Moreelsebrug. Definitely read the Bicycle Dutch post to learn the cool facts about the trees planted along the bridge.

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The Domtoren and the Pope

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I love this little intersection of historic spots and lovely architecture, especially as dusk makes its way in and the setting sun turns the Domtoren a glorious rose gold. Now the spot also has the addition of the statue of Pope Adrian VI to help frame the whole scene.

Color Explosion

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We’re reaching peak autumnal coloring right about now, it seems. On my morning walks with Charlie these past couple of days, with the sun shining and the sky a lovely blue, all the yellows, oranges, and reds of the changing leaves have been pretty spectacular. There’s a lot of yellow around town, and as in this first photo, it really glows when the sunlight hits the leaves.

That sunlight also creates some beautiful spotlights as the rays burst through the trees, as it did this morning in a little spot by the Sonnenborgh.
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The trees also create wonderful pops of color against the austere brick architecture. This building, in particular, seems made for this time of year, though perhaps better suited to the darkness and fog. I always think it looks like something out of a classic horror film. Love it!
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As we approached the Domplein, the Domtoren was glowing brightly, almost bleached by the sun, but this red tree at the Trans was particularly spectacular, with the mix of colors and the bright red against the blue sky.
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And finally, in the Domplein, Jan van Nassau has a stunning backdrop of changing leaves and unchanging Gothic architecture. Utrecht was looking pretty fantastic this morning.
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The Art of Nature

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This little park area is a favorite of mine. As well as being next to the Nieuwegracht, it’s also the home of my beloved Spoetnikkijker statue. It’s also home to some really beautiful trees that are sometimes even more interesting when their branches are bare. They have some fantastic textures and shapes.

On this day, my eye was caught by all the shadows I was seeing everywhere, thanks to the bright sunlight. In particular, I found myself drawn to the shadows of the trees on the modern apartment buildings next to the park.
Trees and ShadowsPlenty of buildings in the Netherlands take advantage of their large side walls to serve as canvases for some attractive and sometimes thought-provoking artwork. In this case, the building seemed a perfect canvas for a bit of art from Mother Nature. The shadow of this one tree in particular was a brilliant bit of graphic art with strong lines and swirling curves, moving your eye up and around the whole image.

Mother Nature is definitely an artist to keep an eye on.
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Pretty Ugly Take Two

NeudeLast week I posted a photo with the top of the Neudeflat rising above — some would saying ruining — the skyline that typically features more traditional Dutch buildings and rooftops.

While out wandering around on Sunday, I couldn’t help but snap this shot of the Neudeflat from another perspective, actually in the square. Once again, it stands out in contrast to the more traditionally attractive building on the left. Interestingly, I had approached the square from a different street than I usually do, which gave me a new perspective on the square. In the photo from that perspective, you can see the red building (once again on the left) face on, rather than from the side. It’s the same red building in my blog’s header image. However, you can also see the square without the Neudeflat. Even with the tangle of bicycles, the Subway restaurant sign, and the large statue of patat/friets/fries in the foreground, there is a certain charm to the scene.
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Foto Friday: Pretty Ugly

Pretty UglyUtrecht is full of traditional Dutch architecture, with brick galore and stepped roof facades. But we also have a few more modern buildings, including the Neudeflat seen in the distance. This building, in particular, is pretty reviled throughout the city for being straight-up ugly, but there are a few who sing the building’s praises.

Me? I think I’d like it more if I could get up on the top floor to take photos of the city. If anyone knows how I can do that or when it will be open to the public the next time, please let me know. I will say that this Ode on the Neudeflat (in Dutch) did give me some new insight into the building that makes me like it much more now.

Blue Skies and Buildings in Utrecht

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The weather has been surprisingly mild for the past week or so. Occasional days of overcast skies and hints of rain, but also days of bright, clear, blue skies. This weekend has had a number of hours of the sunshine and blue skies, so I thought I’d share a few of the snaps I couldn’t resist taking. After all, when you get skies this blue in winter, you don’t ignore them!
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