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things to do in Utrecht

Kaitlin's Guide to March in Utrecht

Isn't it always the case that you find out about a great event the day it is happening? Or, you browse a ton of sites looking for what is interesting to you, but you are 5 pages deep and everything has to do with techno music or mommy and me? Sorry, just tried to think of things I have no interest in. I mean this happens to you too, right? Which is why I have decided to put together a guide for people like me on what to do in the Netherlands each month. 

Let's start with Utrecht, because well this is where I live.

Utrecht

  • Cafe Theater Festival: March 1st-3rd, Various Locations. FREE. Even if you don't speak Dutch, this free festival which happens in cafes throughout the city will be entertaining, All you have to do is look at the schedule and go to the performances of your choice. Last year, Loek and I stumbled in on Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. Unfortunately, I'm home sick today and have to work all weekend. 
  • Big Spring Sale: March 3rd, 13:00 to 17:00, Utrecht Central Library Branch. This sale of movies, cds, and books is a great place to get some materials for practicing your dutch.
  • Stitch 'n BitchEvery Tuesday, 19:30, Winkel Van Sinkel. FREE. Bring your knitting needles and engage in some gossip every Tuesday.
  • Delivered Ideals- Peace of Utrecht: March 11th, 20:00, Academy Building University of Utrecht. FREE. I am sure I mentioned before that this year marks the 300th anniversary of Treaty of Utrecht. As such the University is putting on a series of lectures about peace in our times. Lectures are in English.
  • Rock-a-oke: March 16, 21:30, Stairway to Heaven. FREE. Have you ever sung karaoke with a live band? I have once and it reaffirmed everyone's belief that I should never, ever be allowed to sing in public. But it was really fun! You can live like a rock star for just one night.
  • Jesus Christ Superstar: March 25th, 20:00, Beatrix Theater, 30 Euros. I have a thing for Rock Operas, I have no idea what language this will be in and I'm particularly broke this month. But, that doesn't mean you shouldn't go!

Did I miss something awesome? Let me know! Tomorrow, we will check out what is happening in the rest of the Netherlands. 

 

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Zumba in Front of the Dom

Sometimes, you stumbled upon marvelous things in Utrecht. One Sunday a month, the city hosts Culturele Zondag, (Cultural Sunday). Most of them have theme's, I missed the last two months, but I wrote about March's. This month's theme had to do with Dance. There were different stages of set up all over the city for different dance troops to perform, the only problem is that it was freezing and raining here on Sunday. We are talking in the 50's!

The Verlo- and I did venture out for a bit, where we came across a Zumba lesson going on right in the Domplein.

This is the instructor who worked really hard to get the crowd into it!

The crowd really got into it! Including me, although there is no evidence of that.

On Saturday, Utrecht celebrated its 890th birthday. Although, the city is much older than that. This booth was set up to have people make flags in honor of the city. They are to be hanged all over. 

Despite the freak out Monday and Tuesday, I can't imagine myself happier in any other place.

 

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Le Guess Who May Day and De Zelf Gemaakte Markt

This weekend was soo much fun! The sun was shining, there was not a cloud in the sky, could this really be The Netherlands. Since I have been traveling non-stop this month, I wanted to actually spend this weekend in Utrecht! 

Saturday, there was a ton of stuff going on in the Center! I checked out a bit of the Le Guess Who May Day Festival and de zelf gemaakte markt.

Le Guess Who is a music festival that takes place in the Fall every year in Utrecht. I have never actually been, but I think it is kind of a big deal. They also have the Le Guess Who May Day and Mini May Day. The Mini May Day has bands popping up and playing mini shows at local businesses. The businesses would receive a new band about every 30 minutes. You could tell the local businesses that were a part of it by the giant question marks stationed outside. This one is in front of The Village Coffee and Music on Voorstraat. They actually sell coffee there, it isn't the other kind, and it is the  one coffee shop that reminds me the most of the ones I would hang out in, in ATL.

What happened to my text here! Anyway, I also went to de zelf gemaakte markt. For those of you who can't translate the Dutch, think of it as an indie craft fair. It is still fairly small, but I think it is new so it will be interesting to see how it grows. I didn't buy anything, but I was inspired to start crafting again. The next one is June 30th, at the Mariaplaats.

As fun as these things were, I think probably my favorite part was walking around the Center with The Verlo, and later meeting up with All Mussed Up and making some new friends.

Oh, and randomly there were some Romans, complete with chariot. I still have no idea what this was about!?!

What did your long weekend look like?

 

 

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This Week In Instagram Vol.5

It had been unbelievably gorgeous here in the Netherlands this week. In fact, it might have even been a little too hot. This is coming from a girl who was born in Florida and grew up in Georgia. But in the Deep South, we believe in air conditioning! Which is something I've discovered Europeans do not take much faith in.  I've met some great new people, traveled a bit, hid from the world because I was sick of traveling. And, I took some great pictures.

On Monday, I helped out a new batch of journalism students with the same project I helped out with back in March. And, I took some time to hang out in my favorite building in Utrecht. The Centraal Branch of the Library. There is some lovely stained glass in there, including this window.

I like to call these flowers which are actually weeds, Dutch Morning Glories, because they disappear as the day goes on.

I had my second Inburgering meeting this week. The office was about a 25 minute walk from my house. It would have been faster by bike, but as a novice, I make it a point to not bike when I don't know where I am going. Walking also allowed me to take in the scenery more. I discovered this park on my way. It has the mounds that make it interesting because, The Netherlands is flat. This is De Hoge Weide Park.

I feel really bad for my really fluffy cat Atticus, I am sure he is hot. This week, he has been using his paw to open the door to my wardrobe. He then gets stuck in there, but he seems to be happy about it. I think the material it is made of stays cool, so he likes it. Or he is just a freak!

Like I said, it was gorgeous here this week!

We don't have a balcony because we live on the bottom. We also don't have a garden, so we have no outdoor entertaining space to speak of. We do however have garden walls which are just wide enough for my butt. This week, I have taken to sitting outside on the stone with a glass of wine and a book. I'm reading The Discovery of Heaven for my Utrecht Book Club. It is a very popular Dutch novel, but we are reading it in English. Also, notice my awesome foot tan line.

Yes, I live here! Utrecht's Dom Tower looks magnificent in the sunshine!

How was your week? 

 

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Kijken, Kijken, Kopen!

Culturele Zondag

Yesterday was Cultural Sunday here in Utrecht. This time it was dubbed "Kijken, Kijken, Kopen" or Look, Look, Buy. I'll confess, I hadn't much paid attention to the signs around town for it, only enough to note that stores in the Center would be open. (This doesn't happen every weekend). Since it was such a lovely day the verlo- and I decided to go look around.  

I needed to go because it is a certain Dutchman's birthday today and I needed to get him a present. So, for a little while we separated. Most of the stores were having some awesome sales! On my way back to our meeting point, the largest crowd I have ever seen in Utrecht was in front of Winkel van Sinkel and suddenly there was a glorious sound of Opera. Performers from De Utrechtse Spelen preformed songs from Orfeo ed Euridice from a boat in the canal. It was beautiful, but I had no idea what was going on until I looked it up today. 

After the performance we went to check out a book store I had never been to, De Slegte. After exploring their extensive art collection, we walked downstairs to leave. But were interrupted by a a group of three actors from the Aluin Theatre Co. They performed 3 scenes from some of my favorite Shakespeare plays: Othello, Macbeth and Julius Caesar. The whole thing was done entirely in Nederlands. The actors were superb and I was able to follow along because well, I have read all these plays. I was surprised that they even translated the famous latin line "et tu, Brute?" into Dutch. I noticed also that before each scene there was a tremendous amount of explaining the plot. I asked about this later and apparently Shakespeare is not required school reading for all schools here!?!  I mean, I know he is English but he is also one of the greatest playwrights the world has even known. Once I got over my shock, I managed to ask what is actually required reading here in school because The Verlo- never had to read Anne Frank or Shakespeare! Maybe, I can understand Shakespeare, but Anne Frank? Her diary was written in Dutch and she was in hiding in Amsterdam! Does anyone else find this odd?

Anyway, literary tangent aside it was a lovely day to spend in the Center. If the point of this showcase was to get people interested to go to the theatres, I think it worked. I for one now know that we have great acting here in Utrecht. 

What unexpected thing happened to you this weekend? 

 

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