The 30 April is a national holiday in the Netherlands called Queen’s Day. This year there was an additional celebration as Queen Beatrix had abdicated (like her predecessors and her son Prince Willem-Alexander was inaugurated as King. So in future it will be known as King’s Day.
To avoid the worst of the crowds we headed to the former fishing village of Volendam. In its past the village became an artist retreat with many famous painters such Picasso and Renoir spending time here. The village was busy not only with locals enjoying the holiday but with several coaches of tourists. The local band was playing at the harbour and there was a real holiday atmosphere.
We then visited Edam which was much quieter and a lovely little town. Running right through Edam is the Voorhaven canal with pretty brick houses and swing bridges. Dominating the skyline is the Speeltoren a lovely pinnacled tower the only remains of a medieval church. At the edge of the town was the Grote Kerk which was peeling its bells for the inauguration and is the largest three ridged church in Europe though it was not open for a visit. We enjoyed our walk around this pretty and unassuming town.
A good Queen or King Day