What the Dickens?

Deventer Travel Blog

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Eva

Eva and I had been planning to go to the Dickens Festival in Deventer for a while.  For me, there were two main reasons:

1) The Muppet Christmas Carol is one of my favorite movies ever.  I mean, Michael Caine manages to wring genuine emotion and pathos out of the eventual fate of a green sock puppet - genius.  I know that Miss Piggy can be a bit of a ham (woka woka woka!), but it's a great film. I've read some Dickens too, but for me, Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without the Christmas Carol.

2) The thought of a Dickens festival in the Netherlands, when he's such an English writer, was too much fun to miss out on!

Eva had some last minute essay things to do, but luckily she was able to come in the end.

Eva and a choir
  We set off on the train, worrying slightly about the weather, but it was bright and lovely.  LEaving the train, we joined a huge line.  It turns out that the sheer weight of numbers clogging the mediaval streets makes the whole city choke up with people.  So we stood in a very long queue with some very nice choirs, and I got all annoyed about all the votes for women people, because votes for women wasn't a Dickens thing, it was a fifty years after Dickens thing, and I was getting all cross about it because I was such a know-all in school.  But finally we turned a corner in the line, went under the bridge that they had built to let the shoppers who weren't going to the festival cross over the line, and went into the festival.

At this point, the crowd thinned slightly and I stopped feeling claustrophobic.

Bloke in a kilt
I settled in to enjoy the reenactments of Mr Pickwick, laugh slightly at the sight of all the people in period costume except for their digital cameras and their gore-tex boots, which always look funny poking out of a crinoline, and get excited about the pipe band.  I don't remember any pipe bands in Dickens, but it made me feel pretty festive anyway.  As we walked around, I was a little worried about the crowds, but everyone was really good natured and there was no pushing and shoving so I managed not to get lost from Eva and saw most of the fair.  There were loads of interesting stalls, and I bought a little wooden nativity scene.  I think I was particularly impressed with the graveyeard with all the dead Dickens characters in it, and the penny farthings.
Bloke in costume
  Slightly concerning were all the small children pretending to be begging orphans, because it was bloody cold and unless they had little space heaters under their blankets they must have been genuinly at risk of developing some Victorian fever! 

After we had been around the festival we went down to the river for a walk - it was an unbelievably beautiful day.  We wandered around the banks, and thought about getting a boat ride but couldn't get the guy to tell us where you could buy tickets.  By that time we were pretty hungry, and we went looking for lunch.  There was a Turkish/Kurdish restaurant down a side street, and we had lentil soup with mint and chilli which is something I totally need to learn to cook at home- absolutely fantastic.  Then it was time to shover home on the train - the festival was over, and by the time we had patted some sheep and camels that had been stars in the nativity play on the market square the train was absolutely rammed.  We stood up until the last but one stop, getting stared at by some really creepy guy who kept biting his fingers and grinning.  We were really glad to get home!  But altogether, it was an amazing day.

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Eva
Eva
Eva and a choir
Eva and a choir
Bloke in a kilt
Bloke in a kilt
Bloke in costume
Bloke in costume
Mr Pickwick
Mr Pickwick
Small anachronism!
Small anachronism!
Miss Haversham
Miss Haversham
Er... Dickensian Camels
Er... Dickensian Camels
A pipe band
A pipe band
Another choir
Another choir
Fake Pigeons
Fake Pigeons
Penny Farthings
Penny Farthings
Eva took some great pictures too -…
Eva took some great pictures too …
Evas picture of the choir in the …
Eva's picture of the choir in the…
Evas picture of Deventer
Eva's picture of Deventer
Evas picture of me patting the sh…
Eva's picture of me patting the s…
Evas picture of the sky
Eva's picture of the sky
Evas picture of us in Maslow
Eva's picture of us in Maslow
Evas picture of us in the market
Eva's picture of us in the market
Evas picture of her friends who w…
Eva's picture of her friends who …
Deventer
photo by: inkie1010