Koningsdag Roermond

 

Koningsdag in Stationsplein, Roermond
Koningsdag in Stationsplein, Roermond

The longer I live here, the more aware I am of the differences between the north and south of The Netherlands. I will write about it someday, but I am still too much of a foreigner and outsider to have much insight into it. But these differences are especially noticeable around the holidays.

For example, Carnival. Not much of  a big deal in Amsterdam. HUGE here (and I will need to write more about it next year). Koningsdag? ENORMOUS in Amsterdam. In Roermond, not so much.

Koningsdag in Marktplein, Roermond
Koningsdag in Marktplein, Roermond

I mean, everyone welcomes a sunny Friday holiday, and plenty of people were out and about. But very few people were actually dressed for the day, and a lot of people had defaulted to desultory orange sport jerseys of some kind, the way you dig a random ill-fitting green shirt out of the closet on St. Patricks’s Day.

They had bouncy castles set up in all the squares, and kids were happily playing in them. And the squares and cafes were full of people enjoying the weather.

Koningsdag in Munsterplein, Roermond
Koningsdag in Munsterplein, Roermond

I did see some young partiers in orange hats, and a couple parents with small children really went all out and dressed for the day, but by and large it felt like a normal, warm weekend day.

Koningsdag in Kloosterwand plein, Roermond
Koningsdag in Kloosterwand plein, Roermond

While it’s not uncommon to have tourists here, I did see my first ever standing-on-the-corner-squinting-at-a-paper-map-not-knowing-where-they-are-going tourists in Roermond. My impulse is always to stop and help those people; it’s the Portlander in me, but I refrained.

In contrast, here’s a fairly typical photo of what parts of Amsterdam look like on Koningsdag (image from http://www.reguliers.net):

koningsdag

All in all, it was a beautiful day, and a relaxing one, and everyone seemed to be quietly enjoying themselves. Which is pretty typical of the Roermond vibe, really.

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