Celebrating the Start of Summer… with fire and samba!

Posted by on July 15, 2013

Perhaps this has been mentioned before, but Amsterdam is kind of a strange place. It really is a lovely city, and the longer I stayed (about 3 weeks, total!) the more I could see how one could show up for three days and end up staying for thirty years. But the massive number of bikes, strange sense of scale/distance people develop, and of course the smell of drugs around every other corner are all strikingly different from most of the Western world as I know it.

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Summer Solstice Celebration in Nieuwmarkt.

Which is all a very long prelude to tell you that this, of all things, seemed very normal.

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Amsterdam on Parade.

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Ijburg Marching Band.

My buddy Jonny, otherwise known as Backpacking Man, graciously offered to let me stay at his apartment right on the “New Square” just beyond the Red Light District in Amsterdam’s Chinatown. Some days would be a pop-up food market, others would be a mess of Segways cruising through in bright jackets.

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Nieuwmarkt Bonfire!

Why, then, should it be strange for a Summer Solstice celebration to show up? Giant costumes? Fire pits? Samba dancers? Yea, why not!

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Dancing Queen?

If you can picture it, I was upstairs in the apartment when I heard the noise coming from down the street. I threw on a pair of jeans, grabbed my camera (without spare lenses, by the by) and ran out on the square to take some photos. It was strange and pretty and over too quick.


Much like summer in Amsterdam, I’d imagine.

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