November 15th, 2008 – by: Frostbourne
I had heard of Sinterklaas and the whole story behind him before I came to Europe, so imagine my surprise when I arrived in Apeldoorn
for my first TB meet up to find Sinterklaas there as well.
At first I didn't know what was going on. I was on a bus that I had caught from Arnhem
and somewhere in Apeldoorn the bus stopped. The driver was saying something about the road being blocked and that we had to leave the bus. I left the bus and tried to orintate myself and figure out which direction to go. I tried to figure out where the train station was because we were all meeting up there first for the meet up.
But that was later on in the day so it would have been a waste to go there straight away. So I walked towards the road block to investigate what was happening. Thats when I noticed all the Zwarte Piets running around. I blinked my eyes and was asking myself was I really seeing Zwarte Piets? Yes I was. The whole mood amongst the crowd was so festive, so festive in fact that it was contageous. I then wondered where Sinterklaas was. So followed the crowd until I found myself in the city square in front of city hall. Where Sinterklaas was giving his speech. Its too bad that I can't speak Dutch, it would have been nice to understand the speech. As the excitement died down I then made my way to the train station.
Now it was time for the Meetup. A few of us met at the train station, the rest were meeting us at the bar.
Patricia and Maike were going to go to a presentation, something about Australia, and would meet us at the bar afterwards. Then it was just Carla and myself left, so we decided to walk and explore the city while Patricia and Maike were at the presentation. Carla and I then made our way through the city, and there were still a lot of people in the city so it really felt crowded. We found a cafe then we had some coffee and chatted. then we made our way to the park. the park had a very nice lake and a very unusual fountain, unusual but nice though. Then it was time to make our way back to the train station to meet some other Travbuddies that were due to arrive. Then after that we then made our way to the bar, the name of the bar eludes me now. But it had a very nice atmosphere and we all relaxed in the corner, enjoyed our drinks, and we chatted in the group.
We were in fact haveing a meetup but also celebrating 3 birthdays. Patricia, BJ and Anna. so after enjoying 3 rounds of drinks we then made our way to the resturant. If memory serves me correctly it was a Medditeranian resturant but can't remember the name. we were then led upstairs where a huge table awaited us and there was a buffet. The food was very good. And we all enjoyed the food and carried on chatting. BJ kept me laughing for most of the night with his many interesting travel stories. I especially enjoyed the story, "BJ a terrorist in Tunisia".
The night came to an end and I had really enjoyed myself. I had meet a lot of new people, and had had a really great time. If you are ever travelling get yourself to a meetup. They are a lot of fun.