30 Apr2006

queen1

Queen’s Day celebrations in Amsterdam can best be described as a cross between a massive street party, tailgate, flea market, Spring Break and Booze Cruise in all shades of bright orange. A massive holiday meant to celebrate the Queen’s Birthday, this year it was celebrated on Saturday April 29th, though the revelry started Friday night and should end by Sunday morning. We had no idea we were landing in Amsterdam a day before this amusing and outrageous mayhem, but the shutdown of almost all tourist attractions and the fortunate fact that we have WIFI access in our hotel room means I get to post an entry about it…

It seems that about 2/3 of the entire population of the Netherlands is in Amsterdam today. queen4The morning started out with thousands of folks putting out their old things in a massive citywide sidewalk sale. It’s like everyone is engaging in a massive “I’ll take your white elephant if you take mine…” On a walk about town, there are merchants all over selling stuff on the streets (mostly kitsch or Divisoria type stuff) as well as silly folks making money by making themselves targets for raw eggs… My daughter couldn’t resist and paid two euro to throw two eggs at the target…

As the day wore on, dozens of concert sites throughout the city were set up and music was blaring at ear popping levels. queen2The constant pounding of what I can only describe as “club music” and “dance music” can be heard from major squares and parks to small side streets. This is one time I am actually thrilled that we didn’t get a canal view room as the sound is incredibly loud. Our canal seems to be the site of much of the activity and hundreds of boats float by with dozens of revelers dancing, drinking and acting silly. It’s just one big party and I suspect the country consumes more beer on this day than any other… And geez, the smell of pot is frequently in the air…it’s legal here I suppose!

As for the bizarre color orange, it seems the Queen is descended from the “House of Orange-Nassau” hence queen3 the use of this striking color in shirts, hats, boas, face paint, etc. I have never seen so much orange in my life! We took a canal tour earlier today and our boat had difficulty maneuvering and gently struck a couple of smaller boats in the canal traffic… but it was all in the spirit of fun and Amsterdam is such a nice small city to throw such a massive party… most of the photos in this post were taken by my daughter…she was amazed by the goings on today… Happy Queen’s Day!!!

 

COMMENTS:

  1. kulasa says:

    Talk about being liberated. I wouldn’t take the Kid out late at night to do “Window Shopping”.

    Apr 30, 2006 | 10:03 am

     
  2. CWID says:

    Am glad to see your post. Looking forward to more stories. Makes me feel like I was there, too!

    Apr 30, 2006 | 12:28 pm

     
  3. foodfarer says:

    hey, that looks like fun! :D

    Apr 30, 2006 | 9:14 pm

     
  4. Bay_leaf says:

    wait till Holland plays in the World Cup, then you’ll see the color orange to the max! :)

    Yes, pot is legal there. Have you been to one of the coffee shops? Guess with your daughter around it’s not a good idea, but people go in there and pick the cannabis of their choice, rolling paper is also free, hahaha!

    May 1, 2006 | 1:53 am

     
  5. trishlovesbread says:

    Was there anything good to eat at the parade? :-)

    May 1, 2006 | 9:52 am

     
  6. Marketman says:

    trish, there was a LOT of beer… food is not such a big hit here…except for the spectacular cheese…and raw herring if you like it!

    May 1, 2006 | 3:45 pm

     
  7. negrosdude says:

    gads, seems like my kind of place! enjoy, marketman!!

    May 2, 2006 | 10:24 pm

     
  8. jeroen says:

    It is good to hear you enjoyed my country. Have you tried the pannekoek and poffertjes already (pancakes and “small pancakes”)
    I mis patat (french fries), kroket and frikandel (all fastfood snacks)
    I love our french fries with peanut sauce! the best……

    May 14, 2006 | 3:49 pm

     
 

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