Friday, December 25, 2009

Charles Dickens Time Warp

Last week I attended what may have been the most random but equally entertaining event of the year...The Dicken's Festival! It takes place in the little city of Deventer, in the eastern side of the Netherlands. And once a year they deck the halls, literally, turning the town into an 1800's Charles Dickens inspirited wonderland! Everyone follows a strict Dickens theme, including different popular characters from his books. Naturally, there were lots of orphaned children running around with pick pockets and carolers.

Adding to the fairytale landscape was lots of snow! 
Ellen and I headed out early, and if you've read this entry
you're already aware that our return trip was quite a fiasco.

The festival leads you through portion of the city center which I'm guessing this is the very historical looking section and visitors wander the streets of 'Old England'. 
Shops are set up with the Dickens theme as well, everyone plays along! Even the guy selling frozen beer slushies had a British accent.

It almost felt weird not to be wearing an Empire waisted dress or petticoat, but unfortunately I lack in a collection of Victorian themed outfits. 
So, this cardboard cutout was the closest I could get...

Some other highlights of the day...

Snowy Christmas trees and lots of top hats

Living statues!


Orphans, lots of orphans. 
Some of the kids really got into their roles, 
like the ones in the chain gang who haggled people in the streets.

Carolers...They were everywhere! 
The cutest part was when they'd sing songs in a Dutch/British accent like,
 "Valking in a vintner vonder landt," Ha!

A variety of Oliver Twist characters...

Hot, fresh waffles with cherries...

How cool are these old fashioned bicycles!? 
I felt it was my destiny to ride of these when I first saw this one sitting all alone...

So, naturally, I bombarded the bicycle troop and chased them taking pictures...

Until one guy was so entertained by my desperation that he let me hop on!

I was about 9 or 10 feet high on that thing. And, it makes the bakfiets seem so easy! But, I did it! I got to ride the cool old-fashioned bicycle! Now, I just need someone to give me unicycle lessons and I'll have sufficiently completed mastering bicking skills.

Overall, it was a frozen and delightfully fun trip!

Dutch of the Day: Festival = Festijn

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