On Sunday afternoon after visiting the tulip gardens we had time for some sightseeing in Amsterdam. A very long time since I had been here. I had a Dutch friend when we lived in Nicaragua and one summer I came over to visit her as she had just moved back to her home town - Amsterdam. I was 15 the last time I was here in Amsterdam so this was almost like being here for the first time again.
All those pretty little canals fill the city with charm. This are the parts of the city that you fall in love with, the back alley streets that are more quiet and with their presence of canals and small boats.
Amsterdam like Stockholm is a city that is surrounded by water. The presence of water is everywhere in the small canals that crisscross the city. Amsterdam reminds me of Stockholm in many ways. However, this is a bigger city than Stockholm. Being here also made me realize how accustomed I have grown to a smaller city like Basel. Amsterdam has it's charm but it is not a city I would like to live in. Too big.
Bikes and people biking are present everywhere. Amsterdam and Copenhagen must be the two big biking capitals of Europe. What did surprise me was that I did not spot a single person wearing a helmet.
The old narrow houses are fascinating as they tilt in every direction. Sometimes it almost looks like they are about to fall forward like this one. It is beautiful that so many of the older buildings have been kept.
The brownies of Amsterdam known for the "special spices". We decided to stay away from all brownies in Amsterdam just in case they would have been dusted and baked with special spices. ;-)
The canals as well as the old pretty houses was hard to get enough of. We had a nice stroll around the city with no particular destination. We did not have a lot of time but taking a walk like this really gives you the most of a city in a short time.
Somehow we did end up in the famous Red Light district, ooops! I guess this part of the city really comes to life after dark. We did pass one or two display windows with girls in light and sexy clothing. Since this is part of Amsterdam it is interesting to see as well.
The narrow old buildings and the canals was the part of Amsterdam that I fell for.
Bikes, bikes, bikes and more bikes. Everywhere there were bikes parked or passing by you. You really have to take a look before you step out on the street in this city.
I am happy we had time for some sightseeing. We had chosen to stay in a hotel by the airport as our flight was really early the next day. Getting back and forth between the city center and the airport was a little bit of an adventure. They had closed off the direct trains between the airport and the city so we had to first take a bus and then change to train. Going back and forth took us about an hour in each direction so staying out at the airport was probably a smart choice.