The World’s Biggest Flea Market

 We’re on the countdown to Queen’s Day on Monday (Koninginnedag, in Dutch), the city council has published a map of the city with information for the day.

Queen’s Day commemorates the birthday of Queen Juliana, when her daughter Beatrix became queen she didn’t change it to her own birthday – thank goodness otherwise we’d be doing this in January.

Preparations have begun already with people marking out the territory for the vrijemarkt (free market) on Monday. The city council have produced a map showing the looprouten (walking routes). There are four: yellow along Prinsengracht, blue through the shopping centre, red through the red-light district and green from the Rijksmuseum to Weesperplein. There are also lots of children’s activities in Vondelpark.

The city becomes extremely crowded, and there’s no public transport so although it’s a small city you will be walking if you come into town. Even the trains are on a reduced schedule to reduce congestion at the central station.

All of Amsterdam will be out on the streets, selling their accumulated junk from early in the morning. Officially it starts at 6 am, but on my street we’re slightly more civilised, I think it’ll be around 9am.

With a sunny day and warm temperatures predicted I expect it to be seriously crowded on Monday. I’ll be on my hiding on my terrace with a glass of wine and a good book.

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