DutchAmsterdam.nl, July 2010 — Casual observers might be forgiven if they thought, based on today’s homecoming celebration for the Dutch National Football Team, that Holland had actually won the World Cup last Sunday.
Alas, the team lost st 1-0 to Spain in 2010 World Cup final at Johannesburg.
Still, nearly 700.000 enthusiastic fans — most wearing something orange — lined the route of a canal boat tour that took the players through the city to Museumplein, where the team was officially honored for its achievements during the World Cup games.
While city officials had encouraged fans to make a choice — honor the team at Museum square or at a spot along the canals — many of those who watched the tour later made their way to the square as well. Police say nearly 200.000 people eventually ended up there.
Crowds lined the canals hours before the tour started. They sang, drank beer, and swapped stories. Some 130 people also jumped into the water, something the city discourages since doing so exposes swimmers to anything from old bicycles and shopping carts to E. Coli bacteria.
Many of Amsterdam’s 3000 houseboats are not yet connected to the sewer system…
Speaking of houseboats: during a similar canal tour in 1988 in honor of Holland winning the European Championship games a number of houseboats sank or were otherwise severely damaged when hordes of fans jumped on their roofs, wildly rocking the boats [video].
Police this time prevented such damage from occurring. The canal tour route was selected because it included few houseboats. In places where houseboats were moored, fences and guards prevented access to anyone but their owners.
Public transport was free throughout the city today, but there was no tram or bus service in the center of town.
Police and city officials say that despite the crowds there were not incidents.
Truly Amsterdam at its best.
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