Haarlem Kerstmarkt 2015

I’m so incredibly far behind in my posting!  Ever since Thanksgiving we’ve been going non stop at a million miles an hour.  I’m not complaining but my writing has had to take a backseat to… life.  This is not necessarily a bad thing but more on that in another post.  

A few weeks ago (yes weeks!), we made our way over to Haarlem, a small city about 15 minutes to the west of Amsterdam (we live about the same distance to the east).  I’d heard lovely things about Haarlem, we just hadn’t made our way over to it…until now.  And we will definitely go back!

The reason we were there was for their Christmas Markets or Kerstmarkt. The one in Haarlem doesn’t last long and with some (rare) beautiful weather, we thought we better take the opportunity while it was there. We weren’t holding our breath for much as last year we went to Amsterdam to see some of the Christmas markets and we weren’t all that impressed. However, the one in Haarlem is supposed to be one of the best in the Netherlands.  While it wasn’t in the league of Strasbourg, Colmar or Freiburg, it didn’t disappoint.

Not only that, the sun was out!  That never happens here!  We’d been planning to make a trip over to Haarlem for a while now and I’m sad that it’s taken us this long because it’s an adorable little city on the western coast of the Netherlands, barely a 40 minute drive from where we live on the other side of Amsterdam.

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On our way to the markets after a long search for a parking spot!

I would live in Haarlem in a moment if it weren’t for the fact that none of the international schools are within reasonable distance.  It was like a miniature Amsterdam without all the tourists, sex and drugs. Picturesque, easy to find our way around and just a truly lovely little city – we really enjoyed our day there!

As with any Christmas market that we’ve found, the street food is the best part of the experience.  And we took full advantage whenever we could to grab some delicious local treats.

Our favorite though, was the raclette. Creamy, freshly melted cheese on to slices of bread, this kind of deliciousness is something you remember for a long time to come – not to mention the experience of watching them melt the cheese!

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Ollibollen with cream inside

It was a delicious afternoon spent trying all the goodies being offered!  But it was also fun taking a look through all the decorations, hearing the carolers singing (in English no less) traditional Christmas songs and just enjoying the season!

Happy holidays to all!

Knuffels en kussen,

Julie

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