Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Queen's Day 2012

May has arrived! I'm sure this date is locally known as the day after Queen's Day and in my opinion it may as well become the official national day of recovery. Somehow, another wild Queen's Day in Amsterdam has passed and I've lived to share the story with you...

If you read my pre-Queen's Day post, I bet you're wondering the answer to my prediction...
Yes, the weather for Queen's Day was fantastic (!) 
but today it's back to gloomy, grey skies. What a tease! 

Today the streets are covered in shards of green Heineken glass, unwanted 'treasures' abandoned by the vrijmarkt vendors and a general abundance of trash scattered here and there.
It seems that celebratory induced hangovers are also abundant around the city.

Fortunately, the blur that was Queen's Day stays alive
 through through a few (camera) photos I snapped throughout the day. What fun!
Note to self: remember to put the fully charged battery back in the camera before leaving the house. Oops!  

All in all we had a wonderful, sunny day filled with friends, laughter
and possibly a few too many beers. 
Which I'm pretty sure is exactly what this holiday is really all about.

Five things to remember for Queen's Day:
1. Find something, anything, orange to wear.
2. Bring your bargaining skills to the vrijmarkt.
3. Make plans with friends before, since all the phone networks bound to shut down.
4. You can never pack enough beers for the picnic. *Drinking is almost always regretted the next morning!
5. Don't fall into a canal...especially considering the amount of people who pee into them.
*We witnessed both events, almost simultaneously, yesterday.

To start the day, we set up camp in the grassy bits of the Weteringschans and laughed hysterically at Rose and Maude's voetbal game. Actually, it's such a genius plan that I'd hate to give away their winning secret. Let's just say like any good carnival game the house always wins! :)

We enjoyed the sunshine for hours, laid in the grass, people watched,
talked about everything and nothing and snacked on peer ijsjes. 
There's something so special about laying in the grass with colorful tulips and friends all around.
Instead of battling the crazy crowds like last year, we opted to relax in the sun some more.
Enjoying Queen's Day is really tough work, let me tell you...

Here in Holland, it isn't quite as common to fly the Dutch flag as frequently as we do back in The States. But, during special events like Queen's Day or the World Cup you see the flag all around, 
accompanied of course, by everything orange!

*Side note: has anyone else noticed an abundance of American flag accessories these days? Lately, it seems like star spangled stuff is worn by all the Dutch girls in Amsterdam! Weird, right!?

In the true spirit of Queen's Day Kaitlin was decked out in orange.
I happened to snag a free orange fedora hat, which was sufficient
until sadly, the wind blew off my head and straight into a canal. 

Sherisa made a killing while shopping for goodies at the vrijmarkt. Sometimes I wish I had the patience to sort through all the junk and find a treasure. But I honestly can't stand more than 20 minutes of that kinda thing, it's just too chaotic for me. Oh well, maybe I'll try harder next year? 

For those who are curious, yes my Dutchman really was out the door at 5:45 on Queen's Day to rummage through junk. His prize? A guitar hero-esque mini, plastic Gibson guitar. 
You have no idea how much this made his day, ha!

Apparently, this is where all the Tobias Funke fans can buy their never-nude shorts!

Later, I wandered the canals with my Dutchman and friends to take part in the mayhem that makes this holiday so much fun and by the end very exhausting! As the crowds dwindled down, we stumbled upon a three-piece garage band. These kids were only about 13 or 14 years old
but wow, they were awesome. Due to our confused state of the moment I have no idea what their band was called but they sure rocked the sidewalk!

Have you ever celebrated Queen's Day here in The Netherlands? I'm curious how the parties are in other cities around the county, do things get really crazy like here in Amsterdam?

 I'll be spending the following days loading up on vitamin C and detoxing this exciting weekend away.
I hope you all enjoyed Queen's Day or at least had a great last day of April
wherever you were around the world!


  1. Soo much fun! My post will be up tomorrow!

    1. Yes, it was a lot of fun I'm so glad you guys got to come into the city!!

  2. Rotterdam is a lot quiter then Amsterdam. amsterdam is the place to be if you want the full party.

    1. Hey Stu, good to know! I've only ever celebrated here in Amsterdam but maybe one year it's nice to go with friends somewhere else. Personally, the crazy crowds are drunken madness aren't for me (that's why I had so much fun just sitting in the park!) :)

  3. Thank you for the great pictures! I love Amsterdam but I have never been there on Queen's day!

    1. Hi Katrin, thanks for checking out my blog! If you're a fan of Amsterdam you should definitely come celebrate Queen's Day here, just be prepared- it can get pretty crazzzzzzy!