Posts Tagged With: Tour de France

Utrecht (Or: Our second try)

Marco and I went to Utrecht on Saturday. We had previously gone to Utrecht last year but we made the mistake of visiting on a Monday — most shops tend to be closed or have reduced opening hours on Mondays. Plus the weather was bad and their was construction around the Domplein so it was not quite what we hoped.

This time it worked out for the better. Marco and I had train ticket vouchers (dag weekend vrij / one weekend day free pass) that needed to be used this past weekend. We first stopped at the VVV office (a tourism office) to pick up a €5 walking tour booklet.

Here are some of the pictures we took along the way:

World war II statue in the Domplein Utrecht

A statue on the Domplein commemorating WWII. Behind is an image against the side of the wall, but it almost creates the illusion that you are looking inside the church itself.

Actually in the place where the statue currently is you could previously find the nave of the church, but that part of it was destroyed back in the 1600s.

Pandhof in Utrecht

(Above) Also in the Domplein, you have the Pandhof, a garden area dating back to the 14th-15th century (restored in the 18th century).

Domkerk in Utrecht

The Domtoren (towers) – from a bit further away. It rises above the city, and if per chance you are standing in a spot where it can not be seen, more than likely it can be heard. The church bells were all but continuous when we were in the area.

Academic building Utrecht

Academicgebouw, Utrecht University

Above you have the main academic building of Utrecht University, built in the late 19th century.

Tour de France 2015 sign in UtrechtIf you didn’t know the Tour de France was starting in Utrecht this year, well, now you do. 🙂 Stage 1 and stage 2 will be held in the city.

Guiness sign UtrechtAnd finally, Marco’s favorite joke of the day:

“Every time I hear that dirty word exercise I wash my mouth out with beer.” / “Elke keer dat ik hoor dat vies woord ‘exercise’, was ik mijn mond met bier.”


Categories: Utrecht | Tags: , | 1 Comment

Yellow jerseys (Or: The end of the Tour de France)

This is Marco again, taking over Niki’s blog.
And once again I’ll talk a bit about sports.

You see, I like sports, but for Niki it’s a way of life.
Every now and then it seems like she doesn’t even care what type of sports, as long as she gets to watch something on tv. Like, the many times she puts on golf.
It amuses me (but in a good way.)

So a few times she told me she is really looking forward to indulging herself into the more European sports. We’ve already discussed voetbal (soccer) and how she wants to watch that.
We’ve already agreed upon me taking her to a few games (I haven’t been to a game in like..20 years?)

As part of her preparation for the euro-sports, she tried to follow the Tour de France this year.
Of course this isn’t easy to do, since it’s not on the radar in the USA.
I gues interest took a nose dive when Armstrong retired (and being under drugs scrutiny doesn’t help).

But even if she had been able to closely follow it, this year was boring.
You see, I like cycling for three weeks a year. The Tour is fun to watch..if the competition is strong.
Now I never like the flat surface races, because they follow the same formula and the sprinters always win.
But the mountain stages can be awesome. This year? Meh..the same team dominated everything and nobody was strong enough to challenge their superiority and threaten the race leader.

So the best thing the past three weeks was explaining some of the ‘behind the scenes’ happenings to Niki,
like race orders and tactics and such.
Like how each team comes with a designated leader, the guy that goes for the general rankings position.
They usually build the rest of the team around his needs, give him helpers for the mountains, stuff like that.
Oh, and I got to tell that the yellow jersey winner (the leader in the rankings) gives the money he wins to be distributed amongst the team. That’s one way of making them cycle for your benefit. 🙂

So that was the fun part. Again, the race itself was boring this year.
Oh well…Now we can get ready for the Olympics. Zet ‘m op, Holland!

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Sticky! (Or: What can you make from 450k post it notes?)

Artwork for the Tour de France, of course! The race is starting from Liege, Belgium this year, so their local mall used 450,000 sticky notes to create a collage of bicycle related art.

Laurent Dubrule/Reuters

Of course, it would not be Belgium without the MediaMarkt store in the background of the next photo… MediaMarkt is also somewhat visible in the picture above (you can see the red text at the bottom).

Laurent Dubrule/Reuters

Of course, I don’t really follow the Tour de France. This is mainly because the television coverage isn’t that great in the States. Only two of the dates are airing on NBC. The rest will be shown on the NBC Sports Network. I heard that channel is $20 a month extra!

Categories: Sports | Tags: | 2 Comments

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