Oliebollen in Dordrecht

Dordrecht located in the west of the Netherlands (just South of Rotterdam) was granted city rights in 1220 making it one of the oldest cities in Holland although its importance waned over the intervening centuries its beautifully preserved historic city and picturesque canals as well as it's hefty festival calendar makes this a must see city!

If you jump on an InterCity (IC) train from Amsterdam (€17.20 one way) you will get to Dordrecht in under 90 minutes. You can easily purchase tickets from www.ns.nl


Besides a nice ramble around the city centre 'binnenstad' to see one of the hundreds of monuments, at this time of year it is also nice to drop in to the Dordrechts Museum (and on a side note I do recommend the museum card if you plan to visit more than 2 museums during your holiday).


 

There are so many gems in this museum but my favourite one (perhaps due to the time of year) is a painting from the 17th Century by Dutch Painter Albert Cuyp. You probably recognise the name if you have spent anytime in the Netherlands. The painting is called 'Vrouw met schaal oliebollen'  or woman with pot of oliebollen.




This painting is from  the 1600's so eating oliebollen to usher in the new year is not only a nice and tasty tradition, but one that really makes you feel you are living in continuity with past Dutch generations!

Don't forget to check out the VVV Dordrecht website for info on what to do when in Dordrecht. 

So Happy New Year I hope you get to visit Dorcrecht or at least have some Oliebollen to usher in the New Year!


Paper Timetables

I know and hear from a lot of people out there that they would like to have a paper format of the timetables. The main train company here in Holland (NS) stopped making these some time ago, however they are still available and sell about 5000 copies per year here in Holland. 

Spoorboekje 2016 
Last week the 2016 version was published. If anyone wants I can send a copy if  find one left in the stores.  It costs €10 and I can send one on for €15 + P&P if I can find one.  

It is a proper book so it would cost a bit to post it abroad - as an alternative is just as easy to plan your trip with the online planners such as 9292.nl and the NS travel planners. This will be the topic of my next blog entry so keep an eye out for that! 

Alternatively you can keep an eye out for it when you arrive in The Netherlands yourself - it can be found at the AKO or Bruna book stores. 

Happy Planning and Happy travels


Flessenlikker



flessenlikker



Something I never came across in any other country except for the Netherlands is the flessenlikker - it sure sounds weird but it translates literally as a bottle licker. It is also known as a flessenschraper which means bottle scraper.

Essentially it is a little flexible spatula with a long plastic handle.

The bottle scraper (known as both a flessenschraper (bottle scraper) and flessenlikker (bottle licker) in Dutch) is a Dutch kitchen tool similar to a small spatula.

The flessenlikker is essentially a kitchen tool for scraping the last of the contents out of the bottle. Those thrifty  Dutch engineered themselves out of the problem they historically had which was ' how to get the last of the fla from the bottle - well with a flessenlikker of course! Although according to my sources it may not be a Dutch invention but the flessenlikker sure did find a home here in Holland

Back in the day the much loved diary desert called fla came in bottles and this implement was used to get the precious contents from the end of the bottle.  Spoons and spatulas were no good given the long neck of the bottle. These days Fla comes in cartons making the flessenlikker redundant for this purpose however it is quite handy for those nutella or peanut butter jars.......


Buy one now on my ETSY DUTCHDELIGHTSHOP


OV Bike Price Increase


It looks like the cost of renting a bike from the stations (OV bikes) is set to increase from January 1st

The price today for a 24 hour rental is €3.15, this is set to increase by 20 cents to € 3,35.

The €10 subscription to the OV bike plan remains the same at €10 per year.

Don't forget that there is now a OV-bike checker APP in both the APP store and Google Play store, this allows you to check if a bike is available at the station or OV spot before you leave the house!

Happy biking!



Washandje

 


The 'washandje'. What is this I hear you ask! Well the washandje or wash cloth/bag is a typical item found in most Dutch homes. It is a piece of terry wash cloth in the form of a bag which fits in the hand.  Super easy and practical.

For a Dutchie, there’s nothing better for cleaning than a 'washandje'  or so I am told!

In the shower you can put a  bar of soap into it and hey presto you have a nice soapy lather no dropping the soap! It's also pretty handy when bathing children. This wash cloth is especially useful for those who wash at the sink . It is also very useful for nurses and carers, the sick and elderly. 

Get a bruise knock or bump - fill it with ice it can be used as a compress.
Travelling -use it as a wash bag to store your soap/toothbrush etc 

Buy one now on my ETSY DUTCH DELIGHTS PAGE






Happy Cycling is Safe Cycling

Just came across this very funny 'instructional video' from comedian Maxim Hartman showing all tourists out there how to cycle in Amsterdam - prepare to laugh:


Oliebollen

This is the perfect time of year to write a post about Oliebollen or literally translated in to English - oil balls! These are best described as ‘Dutch doughnuts’ and are traditional eaten on New Year’s Eve. Basically they are a type of batter with raisins fried in oil and sprinkled with powdered sugar. A fabulous way to welcome in the New Year I think!

It is nice to think that when you are eating an oliebol there is a sense of continuity with past Dutch generations – as these Dutch delights have been eaten for centuries here in Holland!

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Here is a painting from 1652 by the Dutch painter Aelbert Cuyp showing these treats back then they were known as ‘oliekoek' (oil cake -the old name for oilebollen) and look pretty similar to today’s oliebollen!










They have also been mentioned in the 1667 Dutch cook book 'De verstandige kock' or  'The smart/responsible cook'.
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So what are you waiting for – try some today! The branded 'Koopmans' Oilebollen Mix is available from my ETSY store here

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OV service shops

A new and welcome addition to the stations across Holland are the modern and relaxed service shops. In these offices you can check train times from the tablets, print your tickets, buy tickets or get help from staff. There is also tablets available at terminals to help you with your travel planning and some screens with the departure times of the trains. Perfect for those who are a little lost, need assistance or just have a question!

In bigger stations they stay open until midnight but you can find exact opening hours here







Best Train Songs

Just saw this post from Haper's Magazine with 23 awesome train songs. Perfect background music while I plan my next blog update! Here is a taster:


CU2030

Curious to know what the whole CU2030 logo is all about??


http://cu2030.nl/page/english