Back to School Festivities

return of the students
There have been signs since this weekend that our park was going to be hosting some sort of event. By Monday morning, our usually empty park with room for Charlie to meander suddenly got a lot smaller and less conducive to free-range Charlie.

It seems that the peace and quiet we’ve been enjoying over the summer is a thing of the past. The students are returning and various student associations are taking over any open spot available.

One sign does seem to be encouraging vaccinations, which is always a good thing, but perhaps a bit more schooling is needed, or at least a few more spelling lessons. I think they’re missing a T. Though hopefully it’s all part of a joke, as I don’t think I’d want to get any vaccinations there!
return of the students

Anyway, aside from the usual DJs and beer stands at any event, this year’s theme for one of the groups seems vaguely southwestern/country & western in the broadest of terms. There are hay bales, a mechanical bull, and two teepees.
return of the students
return of the students

But that’s just one group, I think. In the field by the Stadsschouwburg, there’s more of a French flair with an inflatable Eiffel Tower. Though it still doesn’t hold a candle to our Domtoren.
return of the students
return of the students
As for Charlie, he gave the mechanical bull a few tentative sniffs this morning, but what he was really interested in was the Brood (bread) Company truck. He was giving any sniffer dog a run for it’s money, sniffing every inch he could reach! (He’s way up in the wheel well.)
return of the students
But the real love of his life is patat, or in this case, frites. He’s first in line! He’s not an aggressive dog, but I wouldn’t want to get between him and his fries/chips/patat/friet/frites. Met mayonaise, alstublieft!
return of the students

The Return of the Ontgroening

They keep coming #ontgroening #utrecht
For the past two weeks, the noise levels have increased, the amount of singing has grown exponentially, and the strange sights have multiplied. It can mean only one thing. The students are back in town.

Viking Invasion
They move through the streets in large packs in strange costumes. Viking helmets mix with togas mix with tiaras. Matching t-shirts in vivid colours and homemade designs are de rigeur.

Their late-night parties and early morning rituals have prevented or interrupted my sleep numerous nights over the past few weeks, making me long for the quiet of the summer holidays when the city empties of most of its students. Thank goodness for the young men in tails with a glass of tipple in hand, sometimes spotted on their bikes, trying to keep their tails out of the spokes in order to avoid an Isadora Duncan-style demise. They always make me smile.

Urban Blond Grafitti

Lasers Over Utrecht

Light Show
To celebrate Utrecht University’s 375th anniversary, they’ve been shooting lasers at the Domtoren. Fortunately, they’re creating rather than destroying. What they’re creating is awe, wonder, and beauty. The seven colorful lasers, covering a distance of three kilometers from the Uithof to the Domtoren, are lighting up the city’s famous landmark each evening, beginning at 8 p.m., through 26 March.

Knowing the weather was ideal for an outing, with the skies clear of clouds, G and I went to see the laser light show last night. It’s being called Sol Lumen, in reference to the Trajectum Lumen light show that takes place every night around the city. I’ve seen parts of the Trajectum Lumen before, but still haven’t done the full tour. Soon! I hadn’t been sure what time the lasers actually began, so when we got our first glimpse of the Domtoren and didn’t see any lights, we decided to take the more roundabout way of getting to the Domplein, so that I could see a couple of other stops on the Trajectum Lumen tour.
Willibrordkerk (church) Halo

Stahuis and the Blue Bridge
We ended up timing the walk almost perfectly. By the time we had walked beneath the Domtoren and entered into the Domplein, the first green laser appeared. Within moments, there was a rainbow of lasers lighting up the Domtoren.
It really was a beautiful sight. The lasers moved about a bit, but only within a small distance, hovering around the eastern clock face. The display is supposed to represent the ties between knowledge and culture. It’s a beautiful statement. I’m so glad I got to see it.

clock face
Lights and Lancets

Lancet window architecture
Five Past Green
Tick Tock
Clocks and Colors

The individual rays seen behind the cathedral.
Achter de Dom