Monday, 4 May 2015

Kings Night Celebrations in Amsterdam!

Last weekend myself, Trig and a friend, Chris, decided on a whim to drive to Amsterdam to catch their Kings Day weekend celebrations.

Kings Day as the name suggests, celebrates the monarchy. Amsterdam celebrated King’s Day (Koningsdag) for the first time in 2014, after the inauguration of King Willem-Alexander on 30 April 2013 (what was then still Queen’s Day).

One of the best and most striking things about Kings Day is that everyone wears orange as a show of pride for the Royal family.  The streets are absolutely filled with the colour and everything and everywhere becomes a street party.

We arrived on the Saturday night at 1am, having underestimated driving time and completely overlooking the hour time change from London to the Netherlands. I'd booked us to stay in an airbnb at the last minute for around £40 each for two nights - outstanding value, since even shared dorm rooms were around £50 per person per night. We found a host called Paul,who owned a canal boat with a sailing boat next to it, that was to become our home for the next two days. I must admit, at first I worried that the three of us would not fit into it, especially since Trig is so tall. But it was loads bigger on the inside! 

The boat itself was warm, had facilities, a kettle, a little cabin double bed and a third bed. It was really comfortable, if a little amusing trying to climb on and off of. We used the main boat for showers etc and it really was no bother at all, we also made friends with his really funny boat cats. Paul was the coolest guy ever and stayed up with us till the early hours supplying us with beer! His friend Ezther was great fun, too. I retired at around 4am and the boys followed at 6, a little worse for wear the next morning.

Sunday was the actual Kings Night celebrations which meant everyone was in high spirits everywhere. I'd never been to Amsterdam before, so it was nice to explore the city in the day. 

We then randomly bumped into an old friend from Peterborough, Marco, who had moved to Amsterdam the year before. It really is a small world! Marco arranged to meet us that night and took us to some cool street parties and bars. We invited Paul and Ezther too, who joined us and celebrated with us.

Sadly we had to drive back on the Monday, which was the actual 'Kings Day' itself. Being in the festival mode I think we were all a bit sad about this, but commitments dictated otherwise. Next year we'll stay for the whole party!