A Tale of Two Cities: Finding Deventer

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us…”

– A Tale of Two Cities

If ever my travels have brought me to a strange and magical city – this was it. One fine evening, on our wanderings throughout The Netherlands, the girls and I stumbled across a little town unknown to us. The town of Deventer. Located on the Salland region of the Dutch province Overijssel, this little town holds years of history hidden within its cobblestone streets. Now this was one of our usual random travelling days. We had grabbed travel guides, umbrellas and our sleepy selves and headed off into the unknown.

img-20111113-01334

That’s the thing about beautiful Europe – you can just get onto a train and let it take you somewhere, even if you don’t know where exactly you’re going.

img-20111113-01358

This time our aimless wanderings had brought us a little magic on our last stop before bedtime. Tired and freezing, we wandered along the dark cobblestone streets of Deventer.

img-20111113-01430

We walked through quiet alleyways and alongside dimly lit little shops. We peered through glass windows and wandered down streets with dangling fairy lights.

img-20111113-01431

Around deserted churches, quiet and alone, it was as if the city was fast asleep.

img-20111113-01434

img-20111113-01438

Quietly and quickly, we made our way around the city, barely managing the mind numbing cold.

377949_10150998108510655_1648581934_n

It was then and there that something magical happened.

392094_10150998108575655_1362744319_n

We stumbled onto a little street with scenes from a famous Charles Dickens novel painted on the walls.

cd

With the darkness all around us, we had stepped right into a scene of Christmas past, present and future.

cd1

It was on this late and blisteringly cold night that we had first heard of the Dickens Festival being held on December 18th. What could this be? A festival with beautiful Dickens books on sale? Perhaps a day when movies are shown? Maybe even a play or two? Of course, we had no idea what to expect but we certainly could not pass up something as mysterious as this. We knew we would be back.

Advertisements

Posted by

Hi World! I'm Shal - an environmental microbiologist, writer, teacher and artist from Durban, South Africa. I've spent the last two years traveling and teaching Chemistry and English to young kids in Asia. Life of Shal was founded as a way to share travel experiences, tips and other worldly magic with you! Join me on my journey!

One thought on “A Tale of Two Cities: Finding Deventer

What are your thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s