CategoryTravel

Roodharigendag – At Last!

This post should probably have been up months ago but better late than never.

In September 2015 I finally got to tick off my life list going to Roodharigendag – the Redhead Days festival in the Netherlands.

I’ve been following the event since it was a bit smaller, five or six years ago. The first festival was organised by Bart Rouwenhorst in 2005, bringing together a small group of redheads for a photography project. The idea stuck and, according to the festival website, 2015 saw 6,000 redheads and over 40,000 total visitors over three days across the town of Breda.

Going to the festival was one of those things that I kept saying I would do, and it sat there on the life list from the first draft so eventually I roped in my cousin and booked some flights.

It was great fun experiencing being around so many redheaded people. Slightly odd, unsurprisingly, to look around and at once feel both more and less special for having red hair.

The town of Breda isn’t far from Amsterdam so we stayed in a hotel there, spent Saturday exploring the city and then went to Breda and back on the train on Sunday. Breda is a university town with lots of history. Events that formed the festival ran not only in the park but in old and new churches, gazebos in the street and bars and cafes. The town was extremely friendly and the whole festival has a really positive atmosphere.

I took part in the huge photoshoot in the park, and had my photograph taken by photographers who had created scenes inspired by Van Gogh. We also found the ‘Mr Redhead 2015’ contest very entertaining.

If you have red hair and you’re proud of it, this festival is a really fun experience. I think if I went again I’d try to recruit a gang of redheaded friends and join in properly with the full-weekend camping and pub crawls etc.

Sadly I couldn’t make it in 2016 but perhaps I’ll see you there next year.

[This would be the ideal place to put a redheaded emoji but they still don’t quite exist yet. Sign the petition if you haven’t already.]

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Here I am:RHD_CircleOutupload

 

Munich – New Year 2016

I saw in the new year in Munich with a group of people from England, Wales, Germany, Italy, Chile, Turkey and Mexico. Experiencing New Year’s Eve in different countries is a something I really enjoy, especially when you realise it’s really very similar everywhere and is one of the things that unites us as a global community. In Germany, like Paris, there is a lot of outdoor partying and setting off fireworks in the street. In Munich the bridges over the river become a gathering point as you can see right up and down the river to watch all the fireworks.

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My Munich tour guide was Rob, who used to live there and is fluent in German, so I had a great experience seeing the sights as well as the areas more frequented by locals. I did my best to eat Bavarian food (which included schnitzel, sauerkraut, sausages and of course beer brewed in Munich), and loved meeting loads of new people.

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We took a trip out of the city to the famous Neuschwanstein castle which was everything I was hoping for in its Disney-esque fairytale looks. We couldn’t have picked better weather for the visit – perfect clear sky and cold air.

IMG_1832Munich is a fantastic city, of internationalism, history and stunning architecture. As often happens when I travel to cities outside of the UK I was impressed with the transport system, and simultaneously just a little depressed that we don’t have even half of the co-ordinated, affordable local transport Munich residents enjoy.

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Above is one of the grand buildings in Königsplatz, and a ‘wall of memory’ with damage left from shelling in World War II.

You can fly to Munich direct from Cardiff or from most UK airports.

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