Xtra Xmas


This weekend "kerstmarkt" came to Haarlem, and with it a huge array of Christmas items, food, and of course gluhwein, much needed in the brisk air.

It pretty much resembled a market you would see in Seattle, Toronto or any other North American city. Except for the local treats (see below) and some odd carolers (see green dude below). And of course the oustanding setting - a centuries-old public square - that seems uniquely European.

There were dozens of stalls with every imaginable Christmas-related toy or knick-knack - some of them handcrafted with exquisite precision, others apparently handcrafted with oven mitts.

The side streets were also lined with stalls and warm wine, and various bands were in fine form. The whole deal would have put even the most fervent anti-Claus into the mood.


The Dutch tell it like it is.

"Oliebollen" - like donuts without the hole

Multiple organzas


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