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Trip Report New Year's Even in Holland... Bombastic!

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If New Year's Eve 2009 was any harbinger then tomorrow night, New Year's Eve 2010 will be a truly bombastic night in Dutch cities like Amsterdam and Haarlem - I can say this after having witnessed the New Year's Even events in both cities last year.

I was staying in Haarlem (a really neat city often overlooked by tourists) and the bombs - yes I would call them ordnance and not mere fireworks - started early in the afternoon and intensified as the night went on until at midnight an incredible cacaphony of fireworks and blasts could be heard all over the city - from my upstairs window I could see many folks on tops of their apartment buildings firing off large fireworks.

The din did not dim until the wee hours of the morning. And the next morning the streets were literally covered by remains of fireworks.

Ditto in Amsterdam the next day - everywhere were firework shells, mini bomb craters, etc.

Though I had to leave Amsterdam at 8pm because that was the last train that night back to Haarlem even by them blasts were occuring everywhere - on one narrow lane in the RedLight District - Zeedijk - I though it was even dangerous - younger folk just throwing M-80 type ordnance around - I turned around and left that scene.

Even the iconic Dutch coffeeshops closed early on New Year's Eve, which surprised me - but I guess staff had their own parties to go to - and the queues to buy take-out cannabis were really long - folks were stocking up since the coffeeshops were to be closed until about noon - high noon - the next day.

Amsterdam had a huge concert event on Museumplein (same venue as the World Cup coverage on huge open-air screens - and by the looks of the beer trucks - long milk tankers - it looked like it would be a rather raucous youth-oriented affair. The next day Museumplein looked like a war zone.

So if in Amsterdam or any Dutch town New Year's Even is not your average New Year's Eve I think.

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