Off to see the Queen

by Annalise on April 30, 2010

And we did! We were wandering around in Amsterdam after arriving there on the canal boat and happened upon a crowd waiting to catch a glimpse of Queen Beatrix as she exited a church. We didn’t have any pressing deadlines so we waited too and she came out, waived to her eager subjects, got into her car and drove right by where we were standing. She had on a lovely, broad-rimmed, pumpkin coloured hat as she emerged. She’s apparently all about the hats as told to us later by an Amsterdam shop keeper. He was laughingly telling us about some of her sisters too; the one was a bit different (expressed with a remarkable crossing of his eyes), the more conservative one and then the one who was very stylish and wrote books about the importance of nature and talking to the trees…

But they truly love Queen Beatrix, today is her birthday and the countrywide holiday / party that we saw was extraordinary! It is a national holiday and almost half of the people we saw were wearing orange shirts, hats, wigs or scarves, etc. And this isn’t just any orange, it is the colour of an orange peel. Remarkable! We spent ‘Queen’s night’, the night before her birthday, in the city of Alkmaar north of Amsterdam where there was a huge street party/city wide garage sale/bargain market on the streets (I found some great jeans for 5€) from about 6 to 9 p.m. followed by pub going until about 3:00 a.m. We knew when it finished because the mooring for our rented canal boat was near pub central. Things were a bit quieter this morning but by afternoon the celebration resumed.

When we first heard about what Queen’s Day would involve we were tempted to go back to Amsterdam for Queen’s Day but were a bit intimidated about maneuvering this rented 11 meter boat in the choked canals of the city. Amsterdam takes to its canals for Queen’s Day with over 3 million non-Amsterdam residents flooding into the city for the festivals. As we headed North yesterday morning we saw countless boats decorated with orange headed for the city party. It would have been something to see but we’d rather get our deposit on this one!

So yeah, Happy Birthday Queen Beatrix! And we all ate oranges today.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Ria May 4, 2010 at 4:15 am

Sounds great! Oranje boven, hey!!!!

Have a great day and take care!

Mom May 27, 2010 at 10:37 am

Oh dear, oh blessed dear. The Dutch. When you get back I’ll tell you some Queenly stories the Dutch save for more private moments. Still wish I’d been there.

pasangsherpa November 15, 2010 at 5:21 pm

just test

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