Spring by Kathryn White

Thursday, November 4, 2010

A Trip to the Market: Joustermerke

Thursday is usually the day I visit our local Farmer's Market,
which I have shared about in a post here and here.
I love the colourful array of local produce, the variety and availability of many ethnic foods and as well as the merchandise.
The atmosphere is bustling, with activity from the vendors as well as the purchasers.
When my hubby mentioned to me that he was going to take me to one the oldest markets in Friesland, the Joustermerke, which dates back to 1466, I had no idea what to expect.
We biked into town, then parked our bikes with the masses of other bikes near the library. We walked through the midstraat or centre of the market just to get an idea of what was all available. There were many food vendors as well as clothing, cards and card-making, dishware and tea towels, stroopwafels and poffertjes, scarves and purses, hats and shoes. There seemed to be no end to the rows and rows of tables with merchandise and food.
We also took in the livestock area, including the auction of the black and beautiful Friesian horses, such a graceful horse as you can see in the photos below:
(taken for my friend K who owns and rides her own friesian horses here)

It was a challenge to take photos as the crowds continued to get thicker. As you can see everyone and their relatives come out to the Joustermerke every Fall for this annual event. I have never been in a crowd like this before and at one point the traffic flow stopped because of congestion; a human traffic jam! I moved myself out of the crowds as I was feeling claustrophobic and went into the shops to browse. This photo was taken with my camera by our cousin, S, who stood tall above the crowds with his height and was able to give us an idea of just how busy it was.
Away from the crowds again, we stopped to listen to the ancient pipe organ grinder:
And this is where we bought our poffertjes, thanks to our friend M, who sent us that card with euros for this very reason:

Served with a cube of butter and icing sugar, they were such a treat:
The variety of cheeses was amazing:
Gift packages were available here:
And my favourite stroopwafels were made and purchased here:
It is a tradition to come home with a bag of oliebollen, which we enjoyed later with our tea:
The Joustermerke was an experience I will never forget:)