Monday, December 5, 2011

Winter Market at Castle de Haar

Last Sunday I went with some friends to the Winter Market at Castle De Haar, a very beautiful castle in Vleuten, a village next to Utrecht.

Overview of the Castle

The market was a typical winter market with stands where you could buy different Christmas things, from decorative elements to food, and also things that have nothing to do with Christmas, like hunting clothes (yes, I don't know why but there were a lot of hunting clothes shops, with very fancy rain hats by the way, I didn't buy one but I was tempted to do so). There was also an ice skating rink but we were not in the mood to try it.

We walked around the different stands and saw what they had and at the end we ended buying a French cheese called Mont d'Or and three Dutch pate, money good expended. The French cheese was sold by a bunch of guys shouting a lot in French mixed with Dutch, actually I think they were really french but I am not quite sure about it, anyway, the cheese was -as the guy told us- "The fondue for the lazy people" and I must say that he was pretty right. You just had to open the cover, put a couple of garlic cloves inside, add some wine and put it in the oven, just like a fondue but... for lazy people :)

For lunch the offer was not so great, there was one "La Place", that is a restaurant that you have all over the Netherlands and a soup stand, so we went to the second one, where some young guys were prepared a very nice tomato soup.

Another view of the Castle with a market stand in front

Even though we had a nice time there I must say that it is a place not to go back, downside of the visit is... that it is extremely expensive. Just to go in you have to pay a ticket for 16,5 euros (and 5 euros more for the car), which is a lot having in account that inside you have to pay for everything. I cannot understand why they ask for such a lot of money just to walk around some shops! It's just crazy. Not to mention that the gardens of the Castle were closed with fences, so you could not even walk around the gardens, and if you wanted to see the Castle from inside you had to pay 5 euros -this is a reduced price, normally it's much more expensive-. So next year we will not go back to this market and, as a colleague suggested, "if you want to go to a Christmas market you must go to Germany".

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