Friday, January 25, 2008

The Utrecht Cathedral

Is it really possible that I am BUSIER here in Amsterdam than when I'm home in Atlanta? YES! I can hardly believe it but I can hardly catch my breath, going from one thing and one person to another. BUT I'm NOT complaining!!!! I am loving every minute of my life here in this fair city/country! I'm even learning Dutch!

Last week, BEFORE all the shenanigans from my last post with Tracy (from England) and Astrid and Scarlet from Holland, I went by train to Utrecht and met up with Astrid to take photos of the city. It so happened that it was raining the entire day, so all we could do was take pictures of the inside of the city's cathedral, the Cathedral of Saint Martin or the Dom Church.

This is Astrid, snapping away. And in spite of the fact that we were on each other's heels, we both took very different photos throughout the day. That's the fun about being photographers. No two ever see exactly the same thing at the same time/place!

Outside the church is this statue that stands in front of a HUGE banner on the side of the church that is a painting of the renovation they plan to do inside. Can you believe that's a backdrop painting?!

Inside is a treasure trove of art, some of which was defaced in 1572 during the Iconoclast Fury in which statues in a house of God were considered idolatrous images which had to be destroyed. So sad.

After lunch, we had reserved spots for an hour's tour of the Dom Tower that happens to be Holland's tallest church tower at 112.5 metres (368 feet) in height.

In the belfry, after 221 steps up (49 m/161 ft), is a set of 14 bronze bells weighing 31,000 kg (68,343 lbs) total. This is one of the smaller bells. The set is the heaviest in Holland and, after the set in the Dom of Cologne, Germany, is the heaviest in Europe.

At 318 steps (70 m/230 ft) we reached the Latern, which is an open, octangular-shaped room housing 50 carillon bells. While we were in that space, the wind and rain came howling through the open windows, nearly making the taking of photos impossible.

A handful of us continued climbing yet again, 465 steps by now (95 m/312 ft), to the highest platform where we stood outside in the wind and rain to see the city. What you see here is Utrecht's water tower, and a fancy one at that!

Even though we could NOT take photos of the outside church/tower, because of the rain, we felt very lucky to get the pictures we got! One day, when the weather clears up and sun is predicted, we'll go back and walk the city!

This week I had the chance to visit Astrid in Arkel again for a full day of seeing the REAL Holland, out where the polders are (the dikes, you know!). Once I get those photos ready, I'll show you what life outside of Amsterdam is like!

Last night I walked to the Portuguese-Israeli Synagogue here in town to take photos of the lit candles from 5-7p. THOSE photos are also to come.

And tomorrow I meet another blogger friend, Philine, who is my age. Well, she's not a blogger, per se, but a commenter on our Shutterchance blogs. She happens to be in AMS from Germany this weekend and was willing and ready for a meet-up. I'm beginning to think all roads lead to Amsterdam! :)

See what I mean about being busy!

Back at the ranch, Donica is in the thick of a bout with bronchitis, caught while in Brussels this week. She came home today and was so weak that I had to meet her at the train station to help her home with her suitcase. Poor thing! We're glad for the weekend now and hope that these next 2 days of rest will be just what the doctor ordered!

Hopefully YOU are busy with life and healthy. Be safe, stay warm, and PAY ATTENTION as Mercury Retrograde goes into effect from Jan. 28 - Feb. 19. Just HAD to end with that, you know. It'll slow us all down...even me!


  1. These pictures are impresive, you are so right, we were side by side taking pictures and I do have quite different pictures than you, we both have our different style, but we both have great eye for detail and beauty, we exchange our thoughts and knowledge of the photography, for me it was a pleasure to be with you that day, it is a pity we did have 'some wind and rain' so now we have to go back one day, but do you what, that will not be a punishment, thanks Ginnie for this wonderful post and for the wonderful day full of talks and laughter, hartelijke groeten, Astrid.

  2. I'll bet you could both go back and take the same number of pictures again, very different from each other's, and from these earlier ones.

    I'm so sorry Donica is sick!! Please give her my love and tell her to rest, rest, rest.

  3. What great pictures from both! How wonderful you have gotten to meet so many bloggers!

  4. i love the photo of the watertower. the city looks so beautiful in the stark winter colors.
    Hope Donica feels better soon! Can't be fun traveling and working feeling ill and unable to breath well. Blessings.
    Thanks for the heads up about Mercury Retrograde. I definitely need the warning to pay attention!

  5. I love the photos. I would have NEVER seen that it was a backdrop behind the statue until you mentioned it!

    Wemight be in Holand around Easter. Hope to be able to catch you then :)

  6. I simply MUST get to Amsterdam for a visit with you Ginnie! Do you know your schedule for the next few months?

  7. Astrid: We are such a Dream Team, mijn lieve vriend! I love it. We had so much fun and will do it again, when the sun is shining. It will be my pleasure. Bedankt!

    Ruth: Precies! Exactly! And we will do it. I have given your love and wishes to Donica. I think she's actually getting better!

    Neva: I so totally agree. I feel like I'm in heaven! :)

    Mad: You would love this place and would go crazy with your camera! I've given your well wishes to Donica. What a bummer, is right. And yes, PAY ATTENTION to MR!

    CS: We WILL be here at Easter time, the March 23rd weekend! So YES! Let's make sure we MEET. FINALLY!

    T1: YES, Kim, you MUST come to AMS. I will NOT be here in Feb. at all but WILL be here in March and April. But I need to send you an e-mail. I will do that. It will be so good the day we finally meet!

  8. More great photos, Ginnie, I agree with CdnSwss about not realising that the Cathedral dooors were simply a backdrop to the statue, amazing! How nice to have a Dutch friend who is also interested in taking photos, and who you can meet now and again and go off together on a photo mission, what fun! And you seem to be getting pretty fluent with the language too!

  9. Ginnie, how often does this Mercury Retrograde roll around anyway?
    Best to you and Donica and be healthy.

  10. That's great news! You know that ET will be in Switzerland then, so I might just have the opportunity to meet 2 bloggers in 10 days!

  11. Ginnie these shots are really something:) I also feel privilaged to have watched you preparing two of these shots when I stayed with you.
    Hope Donica is feeling much better. Just give her lots of TLC.

  12. Oh wow - what great photos and I really do hope to be meeting CS on my new scheduled swiss trip!

    Thanks for the heads up warning.. Really I'm not looking forward to that!

  13. Astounding photography and compositions- you absolutely must publish a book!

  14. Ex-S: It is pure joy to have a partner in crime here to help me SEE and also learn the language. YES, you are so right.

    Susan: MR happens 3 times a year and this is the first time this year! PAY ATTENTION. Donica is getting better with every day. It helped that she could rest over the weekend. Thanks.

    CS: YES! I saw ET's news. We will all be in heaven!

    Lurch: We do have our memories, Tracy, don't we! Donica is feeling much better, working from home today (Monday) to give her another day of rest. Thanks.

    ET: How great that you get to make your trip back to your beloved country, Jen!

    SHart: HA. I think the books have all been published already, Rachel, but thanks for your vote of confidence!

  15. Great to see more of your Utrecht photos. A favorite is the bell tower photo. After looking at the water tower photo I wondered if you knew the photos of the Bechers and their study of water towers.

  16. L&N: Thank you!

    Ted: I'll be showing all these photos on the bigger SC screen, so you'll see the bell tower soon. And, NO, I do NOT know about the Bechers and their water towers!

  17. Fascinating photos from inside the cathedral and also the photo giving a view of the city. Love it!

    My wife and I just a few days ago came back from a week in Chile. A few photos are up already on my blog with more to come later.

  18. CANNOT keep up with you! What's your secret? :-) Those are some very beautiful photographs.

    Dank you wel for letting us know about Mercury Retrograde. I'll be watching my step.

    And yes, one of these days I'm going to get to Amsterdam for sure! Just need to work up the energy first. :-)

  19. such gorgeous photos. makes me even more excited for the trip! coming up so soon!!

    i wanted to let you know too that my blog URL has changed.

    i hope Donica feels better and send her my love!!
    love you.

  20. Hi Ginnie, I liked so many things about those photos - The second one really looks like it's taken from inside a church - with a tree in it! And the water towers, wow!

  21. Sooo glad you enjoy your stay in Europe and have such great time with your friends. I've been to Amsterdam quite a few times but not in this cathedral - thanks for taking us with and the pics was really great!