Thursday, July 19, 2012

Views from the Canal

As I mentioned earlier, Dan and I went to Amsterdam for a long weekend. We ate our way through the city, but also managed to see some sights :)

One of the best things we did was the hop-on, hop-off canal tour. I highly recommend it. It's a great way to see the city at your own pace. We bought our tickets around 5pm on Friday and then had the rest of the evening and all the next day to use them. We definitely got our money's worth.  

I was really impressed with some of the houseboats we saw. They were much more modern than I was expecting. As Dan said, a lot of them looked like they were straight out of an IKEA catalogue. 

Chic houseboat

Not so chic houseboat

I was also impressed by the floating islands. There are several of them throughout the city, but this one was one of the largest. It has so many plants and trees growing on it that it's hard to believe it's not on solid land!

Floating island

Amsterdam has some beautiful architecture. I love the gables on the canal row-houses. I learned a fun fact dating back to the 1600s: the houses almost all have a hook and pulley system at the top to help move furniture in. The spaces are too narrow to get furniture to the top floors otherwise. The houses are also built with a slight lean forward so that furniture wouldn't damage the fa├žade.

Canal house with hook and pulley


This was a parking lot just for bikes! It has thousands of spaces, but it is not enough. The city is planning to build more lots with around 10,000 more spaces.

Bike parking lot!

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