a wedding and fun days in Netherlands

After the first day I arrived in Europe for the first time, and got a surprise by my friend ( https://ayoeravenclaw.wordpress.com/2017/02/07/touchdown-at-brussels/ ) Let me continue the story of my 30 days of journey around Europe..  (Actually, it’s more like 12-ish days around Europe, because most of it I spent it in Netherlands). The first week was about my friend’s wedding, the Strawberry festival in Zundert, the city of Breda, the very touristic fisherman village of Volendam, & hunting the iconic windmill near Zundert.

The Wedding

My friend who is an Indonesian like me, was married to a Dutch guy, so the wedding was quite unique, because not only she will wear an Indonesian traditional clothes for the garden party, but some of her Indonesian friends who are attending the wedding will also wear it. These clothes really made impressions to the other guests as they never have seen such clothes, I can hear mumbles “it’s gorgeous”, “look at the details”, “so that’s the Indonesian dress, it’s beautiful”, etc. Well, it was surely one of the moments where I feel proud of my country, it sure is a beautiful country  😀

We’re the Indonesian ladies wearing our “Kebaya” for formal ceremonies. That’s me in Blue (I broke my heels right before the bride walked the aisle, so, yeah, lol)

For the ceremony, my friend the bride wore a white dress, but after the wedding ceremony, we had the garden party afterwards, and the bride changed her clothes into Kebaya also, in her favorite colour, purple.

Here are the newly weds, where the bride wore an Indonesian Kebaya. & It’s in her favorite color, purple

My mother felt proud to see the bride’s veil and the bride’s Kebaya, both looked beautiful on the bride. The wedding was wonderful, all of their guests and friends and family were filled with joy, enjoying their first dance with the music being played by the family band (the groom’s sister and brother play in it), the guests enjoyed some of Indonesian cuisines, saw some happy tears fell down from the groom’s parents too, it was a day full of blessing. The only things that are missing that day was the bride’s parents, well, I’m sure they’re both smiling down from heaven for her.

 

Zundert Strawberry Festival – Aardbeienfeesten

After the wedding day, the newly weds took us to see the local annual festival in their town of Zundert, which is the Strawberry Festival (Aardbeienfeesten). I guess we were lucky to be there at that time, so we can see this old tradition of celebrating the harvests of Strawberry in the heart of Zundert. Starting from the beginning of the central area near the town hall, up to the end of the main street, this festival was held. There were lots and lots of different kind of bazaar, selling handcrafts, vegetables, snacks & food (my favorite because we get to taste them all for free!), art performers, and of course, strawberries! Check out my photo in front of a big strawberry statue.

That’s me & mom in front of a big strawberry statue on an old truck! how iconic is that!

And seconds after I took that photo, some of the local band group was eagerly curious looking at my “selfie stick”, I guess they never really saw anything like it, because then they suddenly surrounded us and wanted to join us in the picture together, hahaha. What a pleasant surprise from the warm and lovely people of Zundert.

Suddenly these folks from the local band curious to join us in the picture, and I just called them “come on here!” ^,^

 

We continued on to stroll around the festival afterwards, many people are enjoying the sun on many tables scattered across the street, and since the theme of the Strawberry festival that year was Vincent van Gogh (a little history note, this town of Zundert is where Vincent van Gogh was born and spent his childhood), so there were many of his art was displayed around. There are also many art performers, one of them dressed and looked like Vincent himself, and a group of performer displaying themselves as a “dark”-living-painting ( I get to take a selfie with one of these “dark” people, hahaha).

That’s the “dark” living painting I mentioned, they are real people posing in it!

Some of the crowd enjoying the sun at the Strawberry festival

Here’s what happened when you take a selfie with a dark man from a painting, you’ll be amazed on how thoroughly he painted his whole surface in black! only his eyeballs are white!

So people, if you happen to be around Netherlands in June, make sure to check out this Strawberry Festival in Zundert, traditionally held during the second weekend of June. It is FREE of charge, no tickets required to enter, and you get to taste & enjoy the local tradition & culture 😉

 

the City of Breda

The next day, my friend took us to see the city of Breda. Honestly, since the first time I heard the name “Breda”, it reminds me of a song by Tiesto I used to hear when I was in college called “Breda”. Come to think of it, “was that song named from this city? hmm.. maybe..? oh wait, Tiesto IS a Dutch, he IS from Netherlands, so I guess my thought was right, hahaha… right? (I’ll ask him someday if I meet him 😛 )

My friend took us to stroll around the central district in Breda (Breda Nassaustad). We went there by bus, it is very easy to get there because the bus stop is just in front of the shopping district near the nassaustad. We bought the day ticket (dagkaart) for the bus, which was 5 euro for 1 day from Zundert to Breda, for as much as bus use you want, back and forth, it is definitely cheaper than buying the ticket per trip (3 euro/trip). There are also other many choices of Dagkaart (day tickets) for farther cities, but mostly you have to buy it on designated stores such as Kruidvat, HEMA, Intertoys, or Albert Heijn (you can find these stores easily around Netherlands).

In front of the entrance to the shopping district in the central area of Breda

The shopping district consists of many fashion stores, like that one just behind me in the photo, Z*ra, or many other brands we know worldwide, such as H*M, Forever 2*, Pull & B*ar, Adid*s, etc, and also lots of Netherlands’ fashion stores & brands, such as Van H*ren, where I bought a pair of black suede boots, as I find it cheap (cheaper than the standard price of a pair of boots in Indonesia), and it has become my favorite boots ever since. After that we continued to walk to the center, and I started to see the point of a big church. I asked my friend, “Oh! is that a church over there?”, she answered, “yes, it’s the Grote Kerk”. (Grote = Big, Kerk = Church).

Welcome to the nassau town of Breda, that’s the “Big Church” behind me, named “Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk”, or the “Church of Our Lady”.

Here’s one of thing that fascinates me about Europe, the Catholic churches, they are all HUGE! I mean for me, seeing the biggest Catholic church in my country is a cathedral in Jakarta, which is like half or two third the size of all big churches I’ve visited throughout the big cities during my trip in Europe, and by having that as a comparison, I found myself always in an awe. Including this one, no wait, especially this one, because this was the first HUGE Catholic church I’ve ever seen! I mean look at my photo, I still look like “is this thing real?” (little that I know, that days later when I got to Paris, then Rome, oh man Rome, the “hugeness” for buildings, landmarks, etc, turned out to be “pretty normal” here in europe, lol)

I wanted to enter the church to see the inside, but too bad it’s already closed (it was around 4pm if I’m not mistaken). Here’s a little history lesson I got about that church, my friend’s papa in law said that inside that church, there are graves of the family members of the Lord of Breda, Henry III of Nassau-Breda, total is 17 family members. And also, turned out since 1637, this church is no longer a Catholic, but it is a Protestant church (hey! that means I can join the prayer in this one next time I visit Breda).

Since the church was already closed, so we continued to walk around and see some outdoor cafe nearby, then we decided to relax and order a drink. It is my (new) favorite drink, “chocomel”! Hahahaha, actually it’s just a hot chocolate, my friend introduced me to this simple yet yummy drink, especially with the slagroom (whipped cream), oh how I love it! the whipped cream is sooo good, not like the ones in my country, the whipped cream are tasteless. But here in Netherlands? the slagroom is sweet and soft and yummy! So, yeah, basically it’s a hot chocolate with very tasty whipped cream, lol. I remembered my friend was jokingly called by her husband as the “little girl” because she always orders chocomel. Well, I don’t mind being called that way too, because I also love warm chocomel, hahaha.

Look at the sky! it’s such a beautiful sunny day! after some walking & a little shopping, we found ourselves a spot to enjoy the ambience of this city central.

Our love for warm chocomel, hahaha. It’s perfect for a sunny cold summer day like this..

We had our chocomel at one of the cafe called De Colonie, it’s attached to a hotel named Hotel De Klok. The cost for our drinks was around 3 euro per glass.

We also walked around near the other side of the central, & that’s my mom posing beside the canal.

After Breda, we visited a very touristic area of Netherlands, it’s the fisherman village of Volendam! Where one of the “must do” thing there is to take photos wearing the traditional costume of the Dutch fisherman, complete with the iconic “wooden shoes”.

Wanna know how fun it was? Stay tuned as I will continue putting my journey into this blog soon! ;D

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