A few weeks ago Marco and I went to Utrecht for half a day. It’s about a 45 minute train ride – when the trains ride properly anyway. There were some issues that day, so I think it took about an hour and a half to get there. Opps! It’s a city in the middle of the Netherlands with about 350,000 residents.
The main reason for this trip was to visit the Hoog Catharijne mall, which has probably been under renovation for years. At least it seemed that way. I don’t think it is completely done, but the parts that are done look really good. Check it out:
And just outside the mall in one of the canals is a piece of art: a whale made of plastic. Of course, a statement on plastic in the oceans.
And a close-up look at the whale from the front:
It’s a nice day trip, especially when you a combine it with a tour of the older parts of the city (which we did a few years back).
From now through April 1st, there is an exhibition (De Raaf, de Vos en Kornuiten) going on at the Central Library. That translates as The raven, the fox, and his mates. The exhibition covers the work of Jean de la Fontaine, a French fabulist.
The fables shown in the library were translated by Rob Scholten while Carlijn van Vlijmen worked on the illustrations.
As mentioned, the exhibit runs through April 1st and can be seen on the first floor of the Central Library, next to the escalators.
If you are looking for something to do in The Hague this summer, check out the sand sculptures at the Lange Voorhout. The World Championship Sand Sculpting 2018 is going on at the moment, with judging happening tomorrow. After that, the sculptures can be seen until 19 August! It will also be lighted at night, making it easy to visit at any moment.
The competition is held every three years. This year the Netherlands is the host country, with Japan, Singapore, the United States, Canada, Mexico, Ireland, Great Britain, Spain, Italy and the Czech Republic competing. The theme is ‘200 years of sea, sand and …’ which also highlights Scheveningen’s Feest aan zeecelebration.
Here’s a peek at how the sculptures look so far. First a look at the sculpture from the Netherlands (as the host country, they cannot enter the judging):
200 years ago: The wife looks back at the past longingly, while the husband looks forward to the future and what Scheveningen can be
Earlier this week Marco and I were in Amsterdam to celebrate our wedding anniversary (four years!). One of the places we visited was the Beurspassage, a small passage which connects two well-known Amsterdam streets (Damrak and Nieuwendijk). The passage itself is only a 5 minute walk from the central station. The top and sides are covered in art – including a giant fish!
A giant fish, just like I said!
Giant green shoes hang on the wall by Primark…
The only thing I would have wanted was that it was longer. But it was very pretty nonetheless!
Near the Passage there is a small alleyway called Achterom which translates to “Around the back”. It refers to the fact that this small alleyway was once the alternative entrance to the Buitenhof. The street followed The Haagse Beek (a creek or brook) and the walls of the Buitenhof.
Achterom – cutting through the Passage.
The alleyway first winds right
…and then left. In the distance is the corner of Achterom and Kettingstraat (“Necklace street”) where the Ball Gown artwork can be found
Map of how Acterom (here the white line) crosses De Passage. The red star marks the corner where the Ball Gown can be found.
But the city did not stop there… they also put in colored blocks on the Hofvijver!
Marco and I were remarked that it looked like a video game… just try and jump between them, with rules like ‘blue blocks last 4 seconds’ and ‘yellow blocks last 2 seconds’ before falling into the water. Just to keep you on your toes, of course!