I originally posted this photo back in 2011, but since I’m not going to get a chance to go look for new photos today, I thought I’d repost this one. The reason for the pink balloons was the running of the annual Meidenloop, and today is the date for the 2014 edition. The Meidenloop is a 3k, 5k, or 10k race for women through the city, including under the Domtoren, which is where this stretch on Zadelstraat leads.
The race raises money for the Helen Dowling Institute, which helps those who are battling cancer. It takes place every year, so if you’re the running type, consider taking part in the next edition. It’s for a good cause and follows a beautiful route. Succes dames!
Friday night we took my parents to De Muntkelder, the fun pannenkoekenhuis (pancake restaurant) on the Oudegracht. It’s one of those things you just have to do with visitors. Afterward, we headed over to Graaf Floris for Irish coffee and appelbollen. As we got to Winkel van Sinkel I couldn’t help but notice a bit of decoration strung up. I also noticed a couple of bikes up on one of the railings. Oddly enough, I didn’t at first think of the bikes as decoration; I found myself assuming they’d been strung up there by some random person being silly. After all, it’s not the first time I’ve seen bikes in strange places here.
However, I soon realized that those bikes were supposed to be there, and the decoration was there to celebrate the Giro D’Italia bicycle race that is making an appearance here in the Netherlands this weekend. (The first stop is often in a country outside of Italy.) The riders are going from Amsterdam to Utrecht and should be going through the city center here later this afternoon. In fact, they should be passing the end of my street, so hopefully I’ll be able to get a glimpse of it all if the crowds aren’t too deep (and tall).
Meanwhile, the city is covered in pink, the color of the Giro D’Italia. There are Ronde Van Italië (Dutch way of saying Giro D’Italia) flags and banners up all over town, along with lots of independent displays, including some nice show window displays. Even the Domtoren has been lit pink in the evenings.