Sunday, January 16, 2011


Today is my first Sunday in Utrecht.  The stores are all closed.  Even grocery stores don’t open until 4pm on Sunday.  You can feel the difference from Sunday in the States.  Saturday is shopping day and there’s a hustle and bustle that reminds me of the holiday shopping rush.  Sunday is the calm after the storm.  I ventured out about 8am this morning.  It was wonderfully peaceful.  I hardly saw another person.  It seems like the Dutch take this day of rest thing seriously.  I saw one bakery that was actually open but I could not buy a cup of coffee anywhere that I could see!

Jamie and I went for another walk around 11am.  There were certainly more people out but the bikes were mostly silent.  It seems Sunday is a day to walk the parks . . . casually taking it slow and easy.  Whereas the rest of the week is go, go, go, Sunday is a day to be laid back or at least, I thought it was.  We had lunch at a nice cafe overlooking a canal and I asked the waiter if grocery stores are closed on Sunday.  He told me that some opened from 4-7pm.  

So, at 5pm I went out again to pick up a few groceries.  It’s only a five minute walk to the Albert Hein.  Was I in for a surprise.  It was like WalMart on Black Friday!  The place was packed.  I couldn’t even get a hand cart so I just got what I could hold.  The lines went from the front to the back of the store.  It was a crazy scene.  I paid for my groceries and on the way out a worker stopped some people from entering the store because there were just too many people already inside.  I think I’ll do my shopping on Saturday from now on.

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