Can you read the title? It says “Bacchus Wine Festival!” I knew you could read it!
During my first full day in Amsterdam, we headed to Amstelveen (just south of Amsterdam) by tram and then walked and walked and walked. Only later did we learn that we could have taken a bus from the tram stop to the entrance to the park, oh well! It took about 35 minutes to walk there and the festival was waaaay in the back of the park. Easy trail to follow, though, with lots of walkers and cyclists.
This really is a festival for the locals, no signage in English at all. And that’s completely fine with us! We just had to figure out how to go about participating. We knew the website said they would only take coins, so Sean had been saving up Euro coins. Turns out, it was a bit of a mis-translation. We think a better term is tokens. You pay for your tokens with cash and then you buy everything from your rented wine glass, to wine tastings/full glasses/bottles, to food with tokens. Once we figured that out (thanks to a super-friendly lady in the token booth) we were good to go.
Typically at the festivals we went to in Virginia, the booths were run by the wineries, but these are run by shops. You had a little bit of everything, from the folks that spoke English all the time because there were folks from all over the world working and the only common language was English, to those that were definitely Dutch and then one booth even had an Aussie representing her brand from the shop. This woman literally flies around the world doing wine festivals. Everyone was pretty friendly. Some even wanted to help figure out what wine you would like. We were some of the first people there, so they weren’t burned out yet…I would assume they would get that way eventually. You could get a tasting, a full glass, or buy a bottle of the wine. We got cards from each of the booths we really liked. When we explained we were moving to Amsterdam they said we needed to find our wine store, and they wanted to be it!
Another cool aspect were the food trucks! They would pair the trucks with the types of wines…French, Spanish, Italian, South American, etc. It was a really great set-up and it’s their first year. Our last stop of the festival was a french bakery that has macarons. Oh my goodness. They were amazing. We had a 1/2 token left and asked the guy at the bakery if there was anything they had for a 1/2 token, and although they didn’t, he gave Sean a bonbon anyway for it.
Such a great experience and I really hope we get to go next year!
*Cross-posted on www.awanderlustforlife.com.