Amsterdam celebrates its watery heritage this week with Sail Amsterdam, an event held only every 5 years.
Yesterday featured the Sail-In Parade. (Have you noticed a trend of late? Amsterdammers love them some parades). It features 39 tall ships from around the world, accompanied by every conceivable type of local boat, like so many pilot fish swimming with a whale.
The whole event takes place in and around the IJ river, for four days. It's free, family-friendly, and per usual comes with a healthy dose of gezelligheid, as evidenced by the friendly women I luckily sat next to along the parade route, who were well-equipped with tea, sandwiches, grapefruit and the classic Dutch tea towel. They kindly provided me with apples, licorice, a plastic bag to sit on, and conversation.
The tall ships came from all over the world - Russia, Italy, Sweden, even Indonesia. There was supposed to be a French boat too, but they were on strike. ('ti blague).
Impressive and imposing, these historical behemoths will stay docked for the weekend and over a million visitors are expected. The programme has various dance parties, fireworks, and general sail-y stuff happening as well.
The nautical equivalent of the wooden shoe
Grannies gone wild