Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Netherlands - Christmas Market at Wageningen

Since this will be my last visit to the open market in Wageningen, I went out despite having too many things to study for the final exams. I needed to buy a roll of packing tape and some fruits and veggies for the next 5 days.

The moment I set my feet at the market I realized that it was more lively than usual. I saw crowds - mostly families and barely any students - gathering around the city centre, and heard Christmas songs on air. Oh yes, it's this mobile music box I saw on the day Sinterklaas came to the Netherlands almost a month ago!

The city centre is decorated with lights and there were shops along the main street of the city centre - these shops were usually not there!

As I walked further, I saw a signboard that says Kerst Markt (Christmas Market).

Compared to the Christmas markets at big cities like Dusseldorf (Germany) and Antwerp (Belgium), this Christmas market is relatively small and they don't sell as much variety as those mentioned earlier.

But of course, the vital component of Christmas market is not missing: the mulled wine (gluhwein)! Also, it serves erwtensoep, which is the famous Dutch pea soup that everyone drinks in winter (according to my Dutch friend). I didn't drink the mulled wine because I have to study! I don't want to get drunk that early (I'm EXTREMELY weak with alcohol; my alcohol tolerance way below the normal Asian standard).

At the center of the city centrum, next to the church, I saw this mini ice skating rink for kids. I had hoped that there would be one for adults, but considering the size of Wageningen's centrum, an ice skating rink for adults would take up almost half of the open market.

The festivities doesn't end here. There was also a group of Christmas Carol team that kept moving from one place to another, harmoniously livened up the market. They had beautiful voices!

Also these guys from SpecSaver (a glasses company) went out with some kind of goods (they were not giving out those stuffs yet as they walked through the crowd so I don't know what's in there), in such a flashy appearance.

And of course, I didn't forget my initial intention going to the market. I visited the mushroom specialty shop and decided that I had to buy something because this will be my last time visiting such a shop. I don't know when else I can get these exotic mushrooms for such a cheap price.

I also tried oliebollen (Dutch traditional deep-fried dough ball):

In concept it is similar to a doughnut but it is rubbery and chewy, yet at the same time very soft on the inside and crunchy on the outside. It is served with confectionary sugar on the top. It is very sinful indeed, but as sinful as it can be, it is very delicious.

The poffertjes (Dutch mini fluffy pancakes) looked and smelled really good too, but my stomach was beyond the limit. I had a huge lunch before I went to the market, which was a really stupid decision I made earlier this morning. The way poffertjes are made is somehow similar to making Japanese takoyaki, but the pancake balls are then folded and topped with confectionary sugar. The Dutch surely love to add confectionary sugar to a lot of things!

If I don't have time to post on Christmas, I hope everyone will have an enjoyable Christmas! :)


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