Sunday, October 12, 2014

Netherlands Adventures!: Leiden's Ontzet (Liberation Day)

On 2 and 3 October, the city of Leiden celebrated it's liberation from the Spanish during the 80-years war.  I didn't go out on Thursday, but on Friday, I went out with some people from my floor and went to see what this Ontzet thing was all about!

On the corner of where Central College sits, there was a parade!  We were trying to get to the other side of the crowd, but that was easier said than done for a while, so we stayed to see what the parade was all about.  It was so strange... the central theme of the parade was travel, but there also didn't seem to be a rhyme or reason to what was actually in the parade.  Still, it was good fun while we stayed!

These guys were hilarious.  They were obviously a bit drunk, but they were a hilarious drunk :)

After we escaped the crowd surrounding the parade, we moved on to a new and crazier part of town.  I guess we'd call it the Midway, the place with all of the rides are, but the rides were all spread out, because there's no one place big enough to hold all of the rides in the center of Leiden.

Any way, we walked around there for a while and waited while Marika went on a crazy ride that no one wanted to go on.  It's an upside down ride and I don't do upside down rides.  That's one fear I won't be overcoming on this experience.

It was such a chaotic day-- on top of a parade and tons of rides going all at once, there were also a bunch of concerts.  Stages were set up on almost every street.  Some were small enough to fit in alley-sized streets while some concerts were a bigger deal and took place within one of the last remaining gates of Leiden or on the Oude Rijn.  There was an assortment of music from, I think, salsa music sung in Spanish to Dutch screamo music, which was really strange to encounter.  There was definitely something for everyone playing at Ontzet, you just had to look.

After we'd spent a couple hours walking around the festivities, Marika, Kristin, JJ and I went to meet Andrew and Olivia (Olivia is the only one who doesn't live on our floor-- she was visiting Andrew for the weekend.  She was a delight!) in the Rembrandtpark, which happens to be near a boat rental.  We rented a couple of row boats and for almost two hours, we (well, everyone else but me.  I didn't get a turn) rowed up and down a handful of the canals.  This was an excellent way to break up the day.  It was nice to get away from people and find a little quiet.  That's how I felt any way.  I'm not sure how the other felt.

You'd think I would have had enough of the festivities if I was actively seeking out a quiet place.  But no, I went out again that night.  I didn't stay out for more than an hour.  But this week I had an assignment for my photography class to take pictures at night with a daylight setting (I'll talk more about classes in a later post.  I have to make a video for Central College any way).  So I tried my hand at night photography.  These are the pictures I came up with:

Boats were decorated for the occasion.  I think this picture is my favorite.
One of the roller coasters.  I think we call it "Mad Mouse" in the U.S.
Games, very near some of the rides.
And the bands played on!
That's it for me!  Tot Ziens!


1 comment:

  1. I think you need to rent one of those bicycles with many seats when your family comes over. I think the four of you would be hilarious on it - all trying to go a different way. It would make an awesome Christmas photos. Just saying.


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