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Koningsdag: Orange, sunshine and photo opportunities on a Dutch National Holiday!

Updated: May 3, 2020

In The Netherlands, we are not in a complete lockdown but with the current social distancing measures, getting out and taking photos has limited me to my local neighbourhood and just about as far as I am willing to (safely) walk. Frustrating, especially as I had plans to visit tulip fields this spring, but we're all in the same situation. Monday 27th April was a bank holiday here in The Netherlands and it's usually a big celebration with events going on around the city. But not this year. Like with so many other events, the annual celebration of the King's birthday had to be celebrated at home.

So, I decided to have a wander around my neighbourhood with my camera and see how people were celebrating in the limited way that they could. On such a wonderfully sunny day, a social-distanced walk was exactly what I needed! I do find that I need some fresh air to carry on feeling in good shape in these difficult times.

People had by no means given up on the holiday, as I strolled amongst many Dutch flags hanging from poles (many of the old buildings here have flag holders already on their walls). It was wonderful to see so many of them along the streets and, as usual, many people who were outside were wearing orange. Orange is the colour! Whether having a walk on the street or just sitting outside their houses in the sun, many people embraced the orange tradition.

It's such a real pity that the celebrations could not go on as planned - usually, the main shopping street where I live (Frederik Hendriklaan) would be full of people traditionally selling their old unwanted items and local shops and cafes would be full and selling their products outside. Years gone by have been lively and fun, but this year was a much quieter affair. Thank goodness for the sunshine, warm temperature and blue skies for keeping spirits up! Somehow, it still felt like a wonderful and relaxed day.

The buildings and architecture in my neighbourhood of The Hague (Statenkwartier) are generally pre-war and have a real charm to them. With the green leaves and trees in blossom, it was nice just to take a moment to capture some images of the environment and take time to just observe for a while.

It's fair to say that you get a real sense of The Netherlands just by walking in this area, admiring the buildings and of course, the bicycles!

If you would like to see more of my photos from The Netherlands, you can visit my gallery of The Hague or my Dutch Landscapes gallery too.

And of course, you can sign up to my newsletter if you'd like to keep up to date with what I am doing (and you'll receive a link to my e-book '9 of My Favourite Photos and the Stories Behind Them').

Do any of you have stories of things you've seen and experienced whilst walking in your neighbourhoods for exercise during these social distancing times? Write a comment and let me know about them!

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