Amsterdam, the city of bikes, boats, and water.

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Flag of Netherlands  , Noord-Holland,
Sunday, June 20, 2010

Amsterdam.

wow. wow. wow.

We arrived in Amsterdam on Wednesday, June 16, sometime in the early afternoon and from the minute we stepped off the train, sunshine and smiles were upon us. The city is gorgeous. It is smaller than Paris, incredibly cheaper, and generally much more cozy than in France.
The city is built around canals, so the streets are mostly in a circular pattern and the grid is somewhat hard to figure out but you are near water almost 100% of the time one is strolling through the streets. There are houseboats and skiffs lining the canals and a lot of transportation is achieved through this route.
I cannot even begin to count the amount of houseboats we saw, along with the happy people who inhabited them.
We me up with our host, Clemens De Olde, possible the kindest and most generous person we could have possibly been hooked up with for lodging and continued the walk about through the city.

First and Foremost!. Well over half of the residents of Amsterdam utilize a bicycle as their main form of transportation. As you will see in the pictures, many many many pictures, of bikes, they are everywhere and it is AWESOME. Cyclist have their own streets, street signs, and traffic lights.

Clemens lives on one of the islands near the center of the city and his part of town was quiet, serene, right on the water, and surrounded by houseboats. It was an incredible experience to wake up to water and boats and bikes and sunshine.

I can honestly say that the experience in Amsterdam was one of the first times of feeling relaxed and calm and really feeling the rush and high of travel. 

We spent a great deal of time outside, walking around the city, enjoying the architecture and the park. Images below of Vodel park. We had a delicious lunch there Thursday of avocados, croissants, fresh fruit juice, and grapes. More sunshine and relaxing there..
We also visited a brewery that is located INSIDE of a windmill. The beer made there was fresh and delicious and I cannot remember the name of it, sorry!

We ended our time with a night out at club Autre, a (Dutch) Blues Bar..( right?)
It was, however, the best I have ever seen of a Dutch man covering James Brown.
A fantastic time was had by all and we will most certainly be back to visit!

Hope all is well at home. Miss you!

LOVE
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