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Queen's Day Photos
A page from enjoy-europe.com
by photographer and author John Bermont.
Queen's Day is arguably the best one day party on the third sphere. Most of the action takes place in the crazy streets and boulevards. If you're lucky and know someone with a boat here is the other option.
Actually there is no Queen's Day. In Queen's Dutch the celebration is known as Koninginnedag. We began our sortie from B&B Paula on the west side of Haarlem, on bicycles. Here we pass the first of many Vrijmarkt garage and trinket sales. The round sign means no parking and the arrow advises incoming traffic that it must turn right.
Pedalling all the way to Amsterdam is a little too much, especially the return trip, so we took the train. At the Haarlem Station Paula considers it best to park in the inside garage. We paid €1 for the day. Free parking is any open space outside the station, and there are thousands of bikes everywhere. No matter where you park it, lock it or kiss it good bye.
The ticket machines at Haarlem station are the convenient way to buy a train ticket, if you have a chip card. European bank cards have a chip and PIN to avoid the credit card companies. With an American credit card you are penniless at these machines. A few of the ticket machines accept coins. Or you can go to the window and pay in cash. Lines at the ticket windows are longer and the ticket costs you half a euro more. Luggage lockers at the Haarlem station also accept only chip and PIN cards. I was able to use a locker by paying a passerby who used his Dutch bank card to access the locker. Dutchies love Americans, but not our politics.
Everybody wanted to go to Amsterdam on Koninginnedag so the station was mobbed. So were the trains. We didn't have to wait long before being admitted onto the platform and boarding a train. It was standing room only but the trip is only 15 minutes.
Getting off in Amsterdam the mob got moving toward the exits. That green sign with a white box and arrow indicates a stairway to the ground floor.
After exiting the station we followed the mob, most of which seemed to know where to go.
The front steps of the Albert Heijn grocery store behind the palace was a resting place and beverage stop for some. The store was open for business.
Paula pulled a beer out of her bag to get started in front of the grocery store.
Another view of the front steps of the grocery store shows many Amsterdamers in orange, the national color.
We were already getting hungry. A good sandwich and a beer hit the spot in this little bakery.
Our first objective was to reach the Spui and several of my favorite cafes in Amsterdam. Beer stands were set up out front for the convenience of thirsty celebrants. That is the Cafe Luxembourg on the left and the Hoppe on the corner.
Here is the side door of the Hoppe with a traditional Dutch bike parked against the window. Normally this neighborhood is swarming with bicyclers but there wasn't room to move on this day. Through the window you can see a fellow entering the men's room. This bar does not have a women's room. Ladies need to walk behind the tap and through a door to the Amstel bar next door. See the previous photo.
This young woman was grilling burgers and having fun.
"Coffeeshops" are famous in Amsterdam, except that they don't sell coffee. It's weed.
Here's a garage sale Amsterdam style. I didn't see anything that I couldn't live without.
Here I found something I couldn't live without, that painting of an undefined bug. It cost me €1. Who knows, this girl might grow up to be a famous artist. She is certainly a very good merchandiser. Look at that smile.
I got a gift for daughter Stephanie here, a seashell necklace.
This is a typical mobbed street on Koninginnedag. The round sign means "do not enter" and the small white one says "except for bicycles and motorized bicycles." Bicycles with engines up to 50 cc were called bromfiets in Holland but Dutchies normally call them brommers these days. Nobody is riding a bike or a brommer here today.
Bring your junque and a blanket to set up shop. Here is another Amsterdam garage sale. Actually, I doubt if there are any private garages in the center of Amsterdam.
There is plenty of action in the canals with music and cheering participants and spectators. Amsterdammers have a special talent for standing on the edge of boats without falling into the wet stuff. It's a free show.
I wanted to buy an orange bobbie's hat but they wouldn't fit me. Drats.
Here is one of the many groups doing it's thing somewhere near the Leidseplein.
The whole crowd at the Leidseplein wouldn't fit on screen. The Leidseplein is one of the more famous outdoor cafe squares in Amsterdam. Not many were sitting on this day.
It was the right day for an outdoor party so this happy group hauled their furniture out on the street to be comfortable. "Emergency exit" -- bah.
There is no end of restaurants with outdoor grills.
Another canal and another parade of overloaded boats.
SRO on the bridge.
A comfortable dude with room to stretch on his boat.
Just another garage sale. It looks like the cowgirl is making a purchase.
Drinking a lot of beer requires a place to let it out. The city sets up these urinals for the gents all over town. It's best not to step on a wet spot. If you are bashful and don't want to piss in public use a cafe, BUT don't be surprised to have a parade of girls passing behind you as they make for the stalls. Almost anything goes in Amsterdam, especially after half of the citizens drank their fill. The trash scene looks bad but it is not nearly as bad as in prior years. As an ecological move, and certainly one to save clean-up costs, there is a deposit on plastic cups at every bar.
The raft looks like it has nearly exceeded its capacity limit. Those glass houses comprise the famous flower market on the Singel, one of the half dozen or so horseshoe shaped canals around the center of Amsterdam.
Let's see who can make the most noise, the band at canal side or the boat with its disk jockey. Notice the load of empty beer cans on the boat.
We take a moment of repose back at the Hoppe. This is certainly one of the best meeting places in Amsterdam. It is very crowded after the offices and shops close.
And then it is back outside for "The Main Event Spui Orange." Up on that bridge is a pop star, I guess, with a couple of his group dancing. If you are having a bad time you are on the wrong orb.
The boys saw my camera and gave it their best.
The party is over as we walk back to Amsterdam Centraal Station. It has been a great day.
But wait, it's not over yet! Back in Haarlem we stop at the Proeflokaal on Langeveerstraat where the Haarlemmers are still in party mode at full throttle. Go Haarlem, my home town in Europe.
Table of Contents
HOW TO EUROPE
The Complete Travelers Handbook
All of the text, updated to May 2013, is available on line, FREE. Updated photographs with captions are available on line for those chapters as noted "with illustrations."
The entire book, copyright 2003, can be purchased by clicking Amazon.com.
Chapter 1, with illustrations.
What's It All About?
Travel Like a Native In Europe
On Budget in Europe
Passport and Visas
Essential Identity and Travel Documents
Flying to Europe
Travel Starts at the Airport
Chapter 5, with illustrations.
What to Wear in Europe
Travel Clothes for all Occasions
Your Packing List for Europe
A Short List for Travelers
Luggage for Europe
Let It Roll
Cash, ATMs, Credit Cards
Travel Money in Europe
Your Travel Diary of Europe
Notes Supplement Your Photos
Europe Guide Books and Maps
Tomes for Travel
Electricity in Europe
Travel Voltage Fundamentals
Chapter 12, with illustrations.
Photography in Europe
Travel with Your Camera
Bring a Smile
Travel Europe in Good Attitude
Hotels, Hostels, B&Bs, Private Homes
Sleep Options for Travel in Europe
Good Eating In Europe
Travel on Your Belly
City Transport in Europe
Bus, Tram, Metro, Taxi, Bike, Boat, Shoe
Chapter 17, part 1, with illustrations.
Trains in Europe
A Primer for Riding the Rails
Chapter 17, part 2, with illustrations.
European Rail Stations
Finding Your Way Around
Chapter 17, part 3,
Europe's Night Trains
City to City As You Sleep
Chapter 17, part 4, with illustrations.
Europe's Bus and Ship Services
Road or Ferry
Chapter 18, with illustrations.
Driving in Europe
Car, Van, or Motorcycle
Chapter 19, part 1
Telephoning to, from, and within Europe
City Codes, 10-10, cell phones, PTT
Chapter 19, part 2
Sending Snail Mail to & from Europe
Priority Mail, PTT, Poste Restante
Chapter 19, part 3
Internet and Email in Europe
Cyber Cafes, Keyboards, Your Laptop
Chapter 19, part 4
Wiring Cash and Keeping in Touch
Health and Safety in Europe
Travel in Confidence but with Caution
Working in Europe
Get Paid to Travel
Chapter 22, part 1
Moving to Europe
Things to Know Before You Go
Chapter 22, part 2
Living in Europe
Travel to the Max as an Expatriate
Chapter 23, with illustrations.
Shopping in Europe
Stuff You Can't Live Without
Shipping Your Treasures Home
Travelers' Options from Europe
Passing Customs in Europe
Know the Rules When Crossing Borders
Languages, Numbers, Alphabets
Encounter The Tower of Babel in Europe
Metric System in Europe
Grams, Meters, Liters, Celsius
Time and Dates in Europe
Travel in a Different Time Zone
Weather in Europe
Travel with Your Umbrella
Melding with Europe
Travel Is Interesting and Entertaining
Packing List and Last Call
For Travel In Europe
Time for High Flight.
Learn the basic infrastructure:
Prime Travel Data
Elementary Travel Information for Europe
Utilize John Bermont's exclusive:
TRAVELERS YELLOW PAGES
A Directory of Links to Products, Services, and Information
Airlines to Europe
National Tourist Offices
City Tourist Offices
City Information and Tours
Country Information and Tours
Luggage and Backpacks
Discount Air Travel
Villas and Homes for Rent
Hostels in Europe
Hotels in Europe
Auto Rental in Europe
Rail Services of Europe
Eclectic Travel Sites
Internet Search Engines
Guide Books for Europe
Newsletters from Europe
Personal Travel Pages
Personal Trip Planning
Get open hours, costs, locations, and more:
Essential Visitors Information for the Top Sights of Europe
Anne Frank Huis
Van Gogh Museum
Natural History Museum
Palace of Westminster
St. Paul's Cathedral
Tower of London
Arc de Triomphe
Hôtel des Invalides
Musée de l'Armée
Cathédrale Notre Dame
Musée du Louvre
Exchange rates, weather, maps:
Be informed before you go.
Currency exchange rates, including the euro, British pound, Swiss Frank.
Weather in Europe
Current European weather conditions and forecasts. Good luck.
Maps and Time Zones
Free online maps of Europe. Guide to setting your watch ahead.
German Wine Labels: Taste and Spit
How to translate the labels. Rieslings, Piesporter, Ice Wine, and other stuff to know.
Captioned photos from Europe
Pictures of what we do in Europe.
Holland hosts a great one-day party, annually on April 30. Here is the action in Haarlem and Amsterdam.
A beautiful huge tulip garden blooms during middle spring. We made a leisurely bike ride from Haarlem.
My daughter Stephanie enters the ring and encounters a baby bull in Spain, then flies for her life!
O hey Europe
Stephanie's Blog. A 22 year old spends a month in Paris, with a weekend diversion to La Baule on the Atlantic coast.
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