Amsterdam, NL

Volume 8, Issue 83; 27 May 2005; last modified 16 Dec 2010

The Netherlands is country number ten for me, with accompanying touristy notes.

Amsterdam brings me to country number eleven. (Previously, erroneously reported as country number ten.) Only 26 more to go. If I get to them all this year, which I won't.

Usually my travels take me to hotels and meeting rooms and very little else, but in Amsterdam I got a day and a half to explore the city.

Those beams protruding near the top of most buildings are both decorative and functional. They're for hauling furniture and other large items to the upper stories. One look at the stair case alternative, and you'll understand why.

It's a lovely city. Everyone cycles in Amsterdam, they get their own lanes on the streets, and they're damn near as dangerous as the cars. Look both ways, let me tell you. With that fact firmly established, the brochure for Mike's Cycle Rentals was irresistible and I spent half a day touring around with about thirty other tourists seeing the inside and outside of Amsterdam. Mike (Mike “the egg” to distinguish him from the Mike) took us past the palace, though the old center of the town, through the red light district, and slowly around to the Amstel river which we followed out of town.

My bike was “Slappy”.

Past an authentic windmill.

Outside Amsterdam, we visited a farm where they make cheese and wooden shoes. The proprietor has a nifty setup with a couple of lathing tools that can quickly copy a shoe form. He's not apologetic about it. Hand made shoes would be very much more expensive and his shoes aren't made in China. Yellow shoes are for working. Red shoes are for dancing. Brightly colored shoes with flowers and windmills painted on them are for tourists to buy. Apparently one is only expected to buy hand made shoes for his (or her, I presume?) wedding.

Back in town, I wandered about taking pictures. You can see more of them on Flickr in Amsterdam, NL; May 2005.

For a dose of culture (no, not the red light, coffee shop, magic mushroom sort, but thanks for asking), I went to the Van Gogh museum on the remaining half day I had left for exploring.

Comments

Wow. Lovely pictures. What camera do you use? (Not that the camera is more important than a good eye.)

—Posted by Uche on 04 Jun 2005 @ 04:52 UTC #

Thanks Uche! Most of the pictures were taken with my Nikon 5700, but some came off my Canon Powershot S500. I wrote a little bit of a comparison a few days ago.

—Posted by Norman Walsh on 04 Jun 2005 @ 08:51 UTC #