the first signs of spring in Utrecht (or: my first day of wearing shorts)

Pictured above: Julianapark, right along Amsterdamsestraatweg in Utrecht. Good picnic weather.

Spring is coming early this year. The Australians studying here (and me as well) are disappointed that the snow never came, but the locals are thrilled. 

The weather peaked at 18° Celsius (64.4° Fahrenheit), and each day for the past three days has seen a new temperature record being broken. For San Diego standards, this is a bit chilly, or at least breezy. But here in Utrecht, people are going nuts.

The parks are filled with people having picnics on the open lawns. Rollerskating is becoming more popular now that the sun is out.

Even my favorite pink ice cream truck is back in town. It disappeared some time in October, but now it’s back and parked in the same place it was before. It’s parked on the bridge leading to the Domplein and on the corner of the Coffeeshop Andersom, where mostly older men and giddy international students go.

The ice cream truck still has the same flavors. Rum raisin, strawberry, and their special “Dom Ijsplein” yogurt flavor are my personal favorites. And I think I recognize one of the guys from last year.

One thing has changed though. They raised the price for a single scoop! It’s only a quarter more, but the pseudo-Dutchman inside of me is already raising his eyebrows.


Some things I’m excited for this spring:

  1. The return of outdoor seating in cafes, or just lounging about on the balconies. When the weather was warmer, Neude square in the city center would be filled with tables, chairs, and people eating and drinking. Late into the night, even.
  2. This winter may have been relatively warm, but it was still cold enough to keep people inside. The good spring weather should get people to crawl out of their cozy caves.
  3. Looking forward to seeing leaves on the trees again. I have also yet to see the tulip fields, which is funny, because I used to imagine that they would be everywhere you look in the Netherlands (they’re not).


I found myself going through homework at a faster pace, just so I could lounge about in the sun more. I can’t tell if it’s because I’m being more efficient, or if it’s because I’m being distracted. Either way, there’s a time to study, and there’s a time to go outside.

And now is the time to go outside.

(Combining the two doesn’t seem to work well for me.)

Author: Wes

Writer, runner, student.

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