If you think Mardi Gras in New Orleans is wild, try Queensday in Amsterdam. It is on the last day of April that the Dutch all flock to their capital, dress up in their national colors and celebrate the birthday of their beloved Queen Beatrix into the wee hours of the morning.
I vividly remember the first time I came to Amsterdam for Queensday a few years after I moved to the US. I was showing around some American co-workers and we took the train to Amsterdam Central Station.
This classy structure is usually the home of backpackers, hookers and other young hustlers, but that day a red, white and blue posse had taken over. As soon as we stepped out of the train, we were greeted by a vibrant mass of color, sound and smiling faces. A cosmopolitan mix of tourists and locals was moving like cattle through the city’s tiny cobblestone streets outside the railroad station.