My First Kings Day!

Hello, Beautiful Roermond!

I’ve been quiet for several weeks. Do you ever feel that the internet is a noisy place? So many people and organisations, all screaming for attention. I feel like that. Sometimes it seems better to just be quiet. But that’s also a bit rude, isn’t it? So I will overcome my urge to stay quiet in a corner.

Also, doesn’t it seem that I’m always saying the same thing over and over? “Wow, everything here is just great!” Maybe yes, I do that a little bit; and I’m going to do it again.

We went to Maastricht for Kings Day. I did not expect to see the royal family, and I didn’t – except on the screen in the square. I am short, and I got to Maastricht after the crowd was well established. No way was I going to see over all the tall Dutch people who were there before me!

But it seemed important to be there, together with Nederlanders, celebrating Koningsdag for the first time since 2019. Maastricht is nearby, and is always a wonderful city to visit. It’s so easy to get there by train. It was a beautiful spring day, too. So, off we went.

So, if we didn’t see the royal family, what did we do in Maastricht that day? We saw de Helpoort, and went through the museum there. We passed so many charming stores as we walked, and went into some of them. One was Manu Facta, where we saw beautiful art, jewellery, and clothing made by a group of talented local women. Another was Angels and Heroes with children’s clothes, toys, and books. We listened to music in the square. We danced in the street to the samba drums of amistura. We ate delicious ice cream cones at Gelateria Luna Rossa. We had a great meal at Café Zuid FINALLY, after walking forever trying to find a place that had an empty table.

We walked over 16 km that day. Some of the time we were pressing through crowds standing shoulder to shoulder and hip to hip; other times we were standing in the growing throng at Vrijthof Plaza, or following with or against streams of people in the streets.

Everywhere and always, I felt a sense of easy well-being. People – no; A People – enjoying the day together with their families and friends; enjoying a high quality of life. It’s a very different ambiance from similar crowds in America, in my experience. Better. More peaceful, more secure.

I am happy and thankful that I was able to be there.

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