Saturday, March 12, 2005

Utrecht Centrum, on a gloomy Saturday

Our leg muscles could do some exercising this weekend, so off we went to the Centrum.

Upon arriving, Dutchman quickly told me that he will be in Mediamarkt. He wants to buy a case for the new Fuji camera (uh huh, finally we bought one). So I left him and went browsing the open market stalls in the square. I would have loved to take pictures of the olives and cheese stands but the camera was with the Dutchman, perhaps some other time I will.

Dutch candies called snoep (or snoepen, or snoepjes). They are seldom sold by pack in candy stalls unless you buy them in the supermarket. Here you buy it per 100 grams, and you can have all the variety you want!

We thought the candies looked nice because of the colors.

It was not really a beautiful day, the weather was very Dutch – rain showers, windy, cold, grey and gloomy.

After Mediamarkt and the open market, we met again and proceeded to the direction of Neude. Unfortunately, our favorite cafe, the Café Le Journal was full. The waitress told us it might take another 15 minutes before a seat is available, so we decided to leave and look for another café.

We followed the other road going to the heart of the Centrum, and this is what greeted us...

The gothic styled Dom Tower built in the 13th century is connected by a nave to a Romanian styled cathedral. Notice the bad weather in the foto.

The Dom was built in the periods between 1321 and 1382. Around 1674, a hurricane hit the city, and the nave connecting the tower to the cathedral was destroyed. Reconstruction began but the nave was not part of the plan(?). Up to this day, the tower (with the bells and the clock), stands solitary, all by itself, apart from the cathedral. The Utrechters think its unique for the Dom to be separate from the church.

The café Dutchman had in mind was this cozy place called Graaf Floris, located by the Vismarkt which is very near to the Dom, just a stone's throw away, and its specialty is the appelbol (apple ball).

Taken from the back of the buildings facing the canal… enchanting, aren’t they? I love its mystery look. I can easily be brought back to the medieval times just by staring at them. These striking emaciated buildings are now commercial trendy shops.

The Vismarkt used to be a fish market square in the old days, now it is transformed into a pleasant shopping area. I took a picture of the aged rustic buildings facing the cafe, all dated back in the medieval period.

So we had our fill. I had my coffee and the Dutchman had his cappuccino. I guess anything warm on a rainy and windy day is always good.

*Sigh* I love weekends... I wish everyday is weekend.


  1. Iba naman dito. It was really bright and sunny yesterday but still very chilly so can't go walking just yet. Anyway...I'm off all week. Yey! Looking forward to a whole week of bumming around.

  2. Anonymous11:23 am

    This brings back fond memories. I've been to Netherlands and stayed there for more than three months to study. Though I was staying at Amsterdam I use to hang-out with my dutched-filipino friends in Overvecht. Goedemorgen!

  3. Mrs. Frivolity: now that is strange! we normally have the same weather as the UK, hehe... but more on the middle part, not the south where you are.

    i would love to be on your shoes. i want to bum around too!

    Sam: hallo en welkom! thanks for dropping by.

    Overvecht is part of Utrecht. Yeah Goedemorgen ook! :)

  4. Hey hey... nice to read abt ur experiences on saturdays, hehe! I visited the Dom Tower when I was like 16/17, for school, climbed all the stairs (veel hoor!)... the view was gorgeous!! Anyhow, shame the pics don't come up with my computer... I'll check in later!

    PS: thx for the friendster message, but I couldn't add u without the proper email-addy or full name! (check ur friendster messages;)!)

  5. Elentari: the dom is one of the most popular school excursions. dutchman says it could part of the geography class hehe. i havent been up there!

    and guess what? i see the dom from my kitchen and bedroom window. the bedroom is always closed though with blinds and curtains, but the kitchen i only have blinds and its always open. so when i cook i can look straight at the dom.

    pics are now okay. will check friendster

  6. Anonymous5:17 pm

    We have candy houses like that here in Seattle. Sees and Candy Factory all have candies in containers that you scoop up to put in a bag. I bought Dutch mints the other day.


  7. order me tea, am coming lets sit down for drinks and go to stalls together!
    Greece is full of classical mansions... left to rot! sad thing, cheaper to flatten them than renovate. shame!

    parakalo perimenete: please wait
    perimeno is to wait
    perimenete - plural form wait (polite)
    have you been put on hold when calling greece?

  8. fantastic blog site. just saw this now. I miss holland. used to visit often in the past till I got hooked on paris :) anyway, too expensive to visit europe now so i might as well contend myself with reading blogs of people like you based over yonder.

    i made link of your blog to mine so i can visit often.


  9. Carrisse: what kind of mints you bought? am curious if you have tried the Dutch DROP, its a different kind of candy. most foreigners dont like it, i too when i first tasted it, but after sometime i find it tasty.

    Shatzli: thats a shame! i visited the palace of king minos of the minoan civilization in greece last year. it was so cool. lots of ruins were also all over crete.

    i always hear that parakalo perimenete hehe. and i did thought that it should be along the lines of please hold on or please wait.

    Maan: hi! welcome and thanks for dropping by. its cold up here and im sure you dont miss this. holland is still as flat as can be, nothing has changed so far, hehe.

    will check your site too.

  10. Anonymous10:04 pm

    You should try the climb! I climbed the Dom a few years back and it's quite impressive from the top. They also show you the bells in the tower and play them when you are actually up there. Granted it is quite loud when they do it! hehe
    Apparently on a clear day you can see all the way to Amsterdam, but I went on a cloudy/rainy I missed out on that view.

  11. You're right, weekends are great - and even more so because we live in Europe! Whereas a weekend used to be spent at Barnes and Nobles or the batting cages, now it's usually spent in Venice or sipping wine on the balcony. Ah Europe...


  12. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  13. Anonymous10:20 am

    You're right, weekends are great - and even more so because we live in Europe! Whereas a weekend used to be spent at Barnes and Nobles or the batting cages, now it's usually spent in Venice or sipping wine on the balcony. Ah Europe...


  14. Sorry J, I getting getting an error message when I submitted my comment, so I kept trying it. Hence, my comment is on here several times, including once as "anon". Technology, ain't it great...


  15. Anonymous1:58 pm

    My sister went to Amsterdam in 2003. With an American backpacker, she hanged out at Café Le Journal, where she saw the tennis player, Mary Pierce with her Dutch coach.

  16. Rik: yeah, i love europe. i love its lifestyle, the culture, the mentality, the history, the cuisine, i love it. though there are things here too that i hate like winter for example, hehe.

    i am getting peeved with blogger too. i lose a lot of time with them because the publishing just wont work and then i lose what i wrote. so now i write it in word first just in case blogger acts up again, i have a saved entry. tagboard is the same too. im moving soon to wordpress, soon, hehe.

    AnP: i havent been to cafe le journal in amsterdam. did you mean utrecht instead? its by the neude square near the post office. celebrities and personalities in NL are a bit low profile, but many people also do not care when they are seen in public, not like in pinas - starstruck haha.

  17. Anonymous5:59 pm

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