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Christmas markets

Knowing that I was going to be in Europe during Christmas time meant a visit to a Christmas market was a given. Initially, friends and I wanted to adventure into Germany to find a real Bavarian market, however as time went by, exams came looming and travel prices rose, the idea became more and more unlikely. Instead, we decided the perfect substitute would be to just make a day trip to a market in The Netherlands. Lots of research suggested that the best would be to head down to the southern province of Limburg, to a town called Valkenburg. The trip would be around 3 hours, but we decided it’d be worth it as we’d heard such good things about it. We set off from Leiden, not entirely sure where we were going, but being assured by several Dutch commuters, that we were indeed on the Valkenburg train. However, after around 10 mins, we were ushered off the train, being told we had reached Valkenburg. Confused at the rapidity of the journey, we left the train, and entered a small town which was called Valkenburg, but as we soon learned, the wrong Valkenburg. Turns out that this specific place name is perhaps the most common place name in the whole country and there are several in each province! Eventually, we manage to work out the correct Valkenburg, with help from many locals, and make it the market.. many hours later! But it was definitely worth it. This town is known for its unique Christmas market, which takes place in numerous caves. It was like nothing we had ever seen before! It just showed us that despite not being able to make the trip we originally imagined, and getting lost many times, it was still a great adventure!

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