On Wednesday, we took a trip to Keukenhof Castle for the annual Christmas Fair held there. The kerstmarkt is a treat for the ears because aside from Christmas music playing over the speakers, there are choirs performing at intervals. There’s also something special for the nose with the delicious scent of Gluhwein and artisanal bread wafting around and for those still needing Christmas gift purchases there are various stalls selling jewellery, decorations and ornaments, clothes and bags as well as food.
We were drawn in by a stall selling cheese, bread and wine – all in one little tent. The boys had a field day sampling different cheeses and various types of bread (a heartfelt apology to the owner who would have had to fill up almost every bowl once my sons had left; the image of locusts springs to mind) – and they were more than happy later to help devour the loaves and cheese we chose to take home. Tip of the day – try the Toscanse bread – heavenly!
For the kids the ‘Coca Cola Santa’ is on site with a large truck, there’s a merry go round, a few animals (including the tallest goat I have ever seen, presumably Dutch) and music especially for the children at certain times. And of course no Dutch Christmas fair would be complete without a skating rink, and all three boys took the opportunity to do a few rounds on the ice, with varying degrees of success. With many laughs and bruised bottoms to show for their efforts we called it a day and headed back to the car, guided back by the beautifully lit trees.
The kerstmarkt continues over the weekend (until 22.00 tonight and tomorrow) so if you are starting to get into the Christmas spirit Lisse is a good place to head to – Gluhwein, christmas carols, twinkling lights and ice skating – what more do you need to get Christmas going? I’ll leave you with a few images…
|The big man himself is there, with the big truck.|
|The Dutch on ice – as natural as cycling|
|As dusk falls, it’s time for the lights to take centre stage|
|Beautiful lights create an amazing atmosphere once the sun sets|