Since 1890, the Dutch have made a National Holiday of celebrating their Monarch's day of birth. This is a massive, country wide celebration where citizens wear orange, attend public concerts and parties, shop flea markets and really just let loose!
Even though every major city has its own celebration, it is customary for the Royal Family to visit a different city each year to enjoy the local culture, diversity and entertainment. Yesterday, Willem-Alexander rang in his 48th birthday in Dordrecht! All of centrum shut down to accommodate the Royal boat tour, parade, second hand markets and array of public parties and concerts.
Dordrecht turned into a sea of orange, with an estimated 25,000 people visiting from outside of the city limits. Our usual quiet street turned into a busy passageway to catch glimpse of King Willem-Alexander, the lovely Queen Maxima and their three little girls.
We ventured out around 10:30 am to watch the boat tour and parade. I was astonished with the volume of people and National pride. People just seemed really excited and content to be part of it all. By 1 pm, the crowd became a little overwhelming and I felt relived to live a 10 minute walking distance from all of the commotion. Observing the remainder of the day from our flat with a handful of close friends was a perfect way to round out such an exciting morning.
Unfortunately, every liquor store was closed Sunday and Monday so I could not serve Kentucky Bucks like I planned. I promise I will post the recipe soon.
On a separate note, I'd like to give a little "thanks" to the Police here in Dordrect - a handful of officers were stationed below our flat and were nothing but pleasant and courteous.