A King’s Day in Amsterdam

A King’s Day in Amsterdam

Stephanie and I were walking through Vondelpark on our way into the City Center of Amsterdam. It was noon on King’s Day; the sun was shinning but it wasn’t hot. Occasionally, a song would come into clarity, but after a few seconds it too would join the white noise of indistinct music that hovered in the air. Smiles were worn on the faces of Dutch children who, along with the leafy fauna, lined the interconnecting walkways of the park. If you are hungry, they have your sugar fix. Every 25 meters another stand sells fluffy, golden brown homemade pancakes that smell like Saturday morning. Or maybe you would like to win a prize. Creative games like a live version of Angry birds or “slice a sausage” are here too. They also sell their once loved toys that have fallen out of favor. And they are musicians, dancers and face painters as well. Part of King’s Day tradition are the large flea markets that dot the city. In Vondelpark, the market has a definite family feel to it. We stopped briefly so Stephanie could tip one of the only non-smilers – a drummer not more than three years old, that was lost in concentration on a full functioning drum set. Instead of walking, we could have taken the tram, but it wouldn’t have gotten us very far. During the festival, Amsterdam swells by one million people, making public transport inside the city center impossible. In any case, the park was much more exciting than the inside of a tram. As we neared the end of the park, a carnival game where you...