Has been a busy few days. Very excited to be in Berlin and I hit the ground running when I got here. This update was put together on the train to Berlin and just now am posting. I’ll have an update on Berlin in another post.
7 August 2016:
It so happened that I showed up on Amsterdam during Gay Pride. Rich and Cathy have attended most of the Pride parades and related events over the past 15 years and invited me to go along. Because Amsterdam can, I guess, their parade is held on the canals and each contingent has their own boat. This year there were over 75 boats.
To get a good viewing spot, Rich came by my hotel in the morning. (Parade started at 1:30 p.m.) We had a late breakfast in central Amsterdam, near the train station. Cathy would meet up with us later. Rich does his weekly shopping in this area and knows all of the best places! One place was a shop that sells Iberian ham. (Most people may want to scroll ahead – legs of pig will be shown.) All different varieties – Rich explained that the primary diet is acorn – the better the acorns fed, the higher the price. It was difficult for me to see, but remembering this is another country, and what we might find offensive, it is “everyday” to others. Expanding and growing awareness is what I was thinking.
Back to the parade…
We found our viewing spot about a fifth of the way down the parade route and got there about 90 minutes before the start of the parade. Fun to watch the party boats. Others were starting to claim a good spot to view the boat parade.
People were also hanging out the windows and viewing from rooftops. From what I understand, this is a city-wide event, second only to King’s Day in April and everyone in the city participates in one way or another.
The parade started with the first boat, but couldn’t tell who was sponsoring. They had two guys with Water Jet Boots. (Pictures below.) I’d never seen this live and was impressed with the skill displaced. I included a number of pictures.
I included a sample of some of the boats. All sorts of businesses and organizations participated, including the Port Office, Department of Justice, the Police Department, ING Bank, etc. The theme this year was “Join Our Freedom” and also saw messages of love, freedom, coexist, and other positive thoughts. Much joy during the parade.
We didn’t stay for the whole parade and looked for place to have an early dinner. We found an Italian restaurant nearby and we all agreed our dinners and service were excellent. As we were leaving the restaurant, the parade was still going on and managed to get through the crowds and head back to our respective homes. We parted ways and agreed to meet up again. Very fortunate to meet people like Rich and Cathy! Sure made the experience in Amsterdam much more interesting and meaningful.
Walking back, my hotel was next to the cruise ships and river boats (mainly the Rhine boats). The river cruise boats were larger and longer than expected. Got a picture of a group of them. Also saw some pride boats unloading their passengers at the docks.
Tomorrow I leave for Berlin! My hotel was near the train station (and pictured above in the background behind the river tour boats) so had a good night’s rest before the next adventure begins. (The Movenpick Hotel was the best! If you’re ever in Amsterdam, perhaps consider this hotel.)