Recently, myself and my partners went on a team building weekend of our own. Aiming to meet different bike related businesses and enjoy the Carnival in the south of The Netherlands.
So was it productive? Well I guess we can say that we made it home in one piece! And we learned how to deal with each other in different states of tiredness, hygiene and intoxication.
We had decided to take advantage of the Riga – Eindhoven flights offered by Wizz air and we got the tickets and made our plan. We would be going Riga – Eindhoven – Den Haag -Eindhoven – Riga. Somehow Utrecht would also get mixed into this in the middle of this short weekend.
Our arrival in Eindhoven was surreal, Carnival was gearing up and hordes of Dutch folks were dressed up in different costumes. Within 2 minutes of stepping into the train station a guy who had been on our plane asked if we knew where any Coffee Shops were. We just replied to head for the center. We were sure he had no idea that this weekend was Carnival and wondered what would happen to him. The idea of walking around high during Carnival seemed a little bit – well ‘Mad’.
We met up with one of our connections, enjoyed a quick pizza and beer and then headed off to Den Haag – A city that according to one of our group was ‘The Future’. When we arrived it looked more like a building site! We settled down at a friends place and slept early, ready to explore the city the following day.
Den Haag is an interesting city, with plenty of cool early 2oth century architecture. Some looking like Art Nouveau and others with a very Art Deco hint. We enjoyed some nice cafes, bars and street walking, taking the chance to visit a bike rental company who were very helpful indeed.
Pleasantly surprised that we had got our work part of the trip sorted we proceeded to enjoy Dutch nightlife and culture before we would leave the safety of a Northern city heading South towards Carnival.
On our way out of Den Haag we stopped in Utrecht. A nice Dutch city with lots of little streets, a bit conservative at times but pleasant. Eindhoven would be waiting for us this fair Sunday evening with the smell of Carnival. In case you want to get in the mood check out this video that was the 2012 anthem for Carnival.
On arrival in Eindhoven we felt that madness had descended upon the city. Fancy dress and alcohol are always a good mix! We waded through the crowds sipping beer time from time and trying to fit in. Not easy with no costumes and not drunk it seems.
None the less it was pleasant and we finally got our costumes. We were called ‘scavengers’ by one guy and we replied ‘no, we are from the future’. We were time travelers and thus required no costumes as we had come from one week in the future. It worked to some degree but none the less it was a lame costume.
Overall it was a good experience, highly recommended!