Fijne Koningsdag !

or in english, Happy King’s Day!

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The Martini Toren from the ground.

Today is King Willem-Alexander’s birthday and the whole country celebrates! This is actually only the 2nd King’s Day. Until last year ‘Koninginnedag’, or Queen’s Day, was celebrated on April 30th to celebrate Queen Beatrix’s birthday. As you can see, I think Meatball is the most excited about it.

The celebration takes place throughout The Netherlands and consists of Koningsnacht (King’s night) and Koningsdag (King’s Day).Koningsnacht is essentially an all night party the night before. So, last night we resisted the urge to be lame and went to city center to see what it was all about. Starting about 7pm a string of bands and DJ’s play on 3 or 4 different stages spread throughout the Grote markt and the Vis markt. The music went until about 2am and then the party continues at the bars until the sun comes up. Let’s be real, we didn’t make it that long but we stayed until the music was over!

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Needless to say, city center was packed! There was definitely no shortage of beer though. You were never more than a few steps away from a beer tent…

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After Koningsnacht, comes Koningsdag!

Festivities start bright and early with the ‘Vrijmarkt’, or Free Market. This is essentially one giant yard sale. The true bargain hunters are out first thing in the morning for the best deals and to beat the crowds.

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The Vrijmarkt continues all day and is set up along the main canals, and the concerts continue in city center. Today we stumbled upon a band called Dis Nie Okay who, despite the fact that their singing wasn’t exactly the best, were super entertaining! Their set included the Backstreet Boys, Hakuna Matata, and The Fresh Prince of Bel Air theme song. How could you not like them?!

We also figured out (not surprisingly) we’re more of a Koningsdag kind of people. There were people out today who knew how to do it right. They were out early enough to get a good spot for one of the main stages, brought a cooler with snacks and drinks, and made a day of it. Now we know for next year…

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On a completely unrelated note. I felt the need to share my my mad biking skills. Look ma! No hands!

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We don’t have much going on the next couple of months, so I’ll pre-apologize for the lack of posts. We’re saving up for our next big trip…

The Sufrinko’s are coming to visit!

(little #tbt action with this one…)

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Tot ziens!

Whitney

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We are two Americans living in the Netherlands with our fat cat, Meatball. The Shwits is a diary of our time abroad!

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