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4/30 - Queen's Day (Koninginnedag) Celebration in Amsterdam

During our cycling, everyone we talked with told us we had to be in Amsterdam

for the BIG celebration of Queen's Day (Beatrix) and the coronation of the new King

(Willem-Alexander). Coincidentally, our trip ended today in Amsterdam, so we knew

this was a party not to be missed! The entire city center was shut down to traffic -

no cars, buses, trams, bikes. The only way to get around was on foot.

It looked like there were hundreds of thousands of people enjoying the celebration!

                   

ABOVE - Goodbye, Kampen - early morning departure

Long-haired Dachsund at the train station waiting to go to Amsterdam.

Even dogs want to party! Anyone seen anything orange!.

Below - Lots of security, and The Queen greeted us!

                   

Below, right - Amsterdam Centraal train station. We have arrived! The three banners are

in honor of Willem-Alexander and they are everywhere all over the city.

Orange is the color of the Dutch Royal Family. The lineage of the current dynasty -

the House of Oranje-Nassau dates back to Willem van Oranje (William of Orange).

But while the color orange has royal roots in the Netherlands,

today it symbolizes a broader pride in the country and in being Dutch.

                   

Below, left - Love the crown on top of the building

Below, right - Dam Square was packed with thousands of people, mostly in orange.

The Royal Palace is the building on the right.

                   

We watched the Coronation ceremonies live and also on the many

big screens around Dam Square.

Below, left - King Willem and his wife

Below, middle - On the big screen we could see the procession.

These are the three princesses with Queen Beatrix in blue behind them

Below, right - Royal Palace

                   

Below, left - Judith in front of Royal Palace (Koninklijk Huis).

The procession entered the palace after leaving the church

Below, middle - The Nieuwe Kerk (New Church) on the right is where the coronation took place.

Below, right - We blended right in with the orange leis around our necks

                      

Below, left - Live look at dignitaries walking from the New Church to the Royal Palace

Below, middle - Guards everywhere along the front of the Royal Palace

Below, right - The ceremonies are over here at the square. It's time to party! Where's Fred?

                   

Below, left - Royalty abounds. She actually had a windmill on her hat.

Below, middle - Decorations on almost every building. This is the Hotel de Europe.

Below, right - Hundreds of boats on the canals with partiers

                   

Below, left - Balloons everywhere!

Below, middle - Bikes are locked up and idle today!

Below, right - Beautiful day in Amsterdam - better than the gray skies we saw when we arrived

                   

Below, left - The leaves have appeared on the trees since we were here two weeks ago

Below, middle - So many canals, and so many beautiful old buildings.

Many here are from the 16th and 17th century!

Below, right - We ventured into many neighborhoods!

                   

Below, left - We couldn't resist eating some more poffertjes.

Below, middle - The poffertje baker at work.

Below, right - Yum! Too bad we can't find these at home!

                   

Below, left - Fred finally got his fill of Belgian waffles!

Below, right - Heading back to the train station. So glad we got to be part

of this celebration! It was a great end to a great vacation!