Saturday, March 17, 2012


In the words of my father, I've been to a turkey shoot, a buzzard f***, and a Marine Corp ball and I ain't ever seen anything like this.

That is how we felt about carnaval in Den Bosch ('S Hertongenbosch as it is properly called or Oeteldonk as it is called during the 3 days of carnaval).

We weren't sure what to expect as we took the two hour train ride to Den Bosch, but as the train got closer to the city more and more people got on that were dressed in costume or part of impromptu marching bands.

Part of the tradition is the handing over of the keys to the city from the mayor to the prince of carnaval.  Luckily as we debarked the train the "prince" was just starting his journey.

The crowd at the train station was ready for his arrival and the official starting of carnaval.

We made our way through the crowds and arrived at the square.  Unfortunately the official colors of carnaval in Den Bosch seem to align with the Cyclones. 

The name of the train station also changes to Oeteldonk.

After watching the handing over of the key we made our way to the parade route to watch what we thought was going to be a kids parade.  It started with real horses.

And then there were fake horses.

Everyone dressed for the occasion, everyone. Well except three tourists from Iowa.

They gave candy to the kids, shots and beer to the adults.

More horses, this time dressed up.

The Dutch are the tallest people in Europe.

And they really love speed skating, second only to soccer.

Did I mention we had never seen anything like this?

The video below gives you a sense of what it was like, for 3 straight hours.

Some floats contained refreshments, it was a long parade.

These gents are dressed in their Bierkas which is parodying the current Burqa debate that is going on within the Netherlands.

The local biker gang

Snooki and her pals...?

And then I thought the rapture was upon us, it went from bright and sunny to hail/snow with chicken feathers flying everywhere (see video below).  Did I mention I had never seen anything like this?

Around the 2 1/2 hour mark.

After a long day, headed back home on the train.

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