Thursday, May 7, 2009

Orange you glad its Queen's Day?

I have had the true Holland and Dutch experience, April 29th and 30th is the national holiday called Koninginnedag Queen's day. The celebrations begin mid afternoon on the evening before. I spent Queen's night in Leiden, walking, drinking, and dancing along side all the Dutch.

Queen's Day was spent in Amsterdam. I thought Amsterdam was a crowded city on the weekends when I was there and it was good weather. I had no idea that Amsterdam could hold the amount of people it did on this day. It was a sea of Orange! Everything I had read and watched on youtube didn't do Queen's day justice. It is defiantly an experience that can't be explained. The city streets are covered in orange everything, people wearing the "orangest" costumes and celebrating their culture. Its a celebration of the Queen's birthday. It is also the one day the Dutch are able to sell anything they want on the streets...its a huge public garage sale. There is music everywhere and heaving drinking happening everywhere. It is a festival that was something I have never been apart of before. The canals are also full of boats decorated in orange and playing all sorts of music. Its a party for the entire country and a majority come to Amsterdam. The 'Dam Square' had a large fairis wheel along with carnival rides. This is a celebration for all ages. The celebration lasts long into the morning celebrating the Queen's birthday.

The North Sea...Katwijk Beach

The last few weeks I have spent time experiencing Holland and the sunny weather, yes there is some sunny days. A few weekends back my friend Scott and I took our bikes to go to the beach. After 14 1/2 miles we ended up at small beach town Katwijk. Able to soak up the sun and be on a beach was a great change in scenery. I even got a sun burn! I did dip my toes into the North Sea and it was bitter cold. The one thing that I found interesting was the Dutch were out sun bathing, it was still chilly with the wind but they were out enjoying the "warm" weather. I did see one women get it the WATER! She is a brave women. I have posted some photos of the day Scott and I had at the beach.