After a sad goodbye to Paris, we left for Amsterdam. What a lovely surprise!
I had never put much thought into Amsterdam and knew nothing about the city, but was wooed by its charms right away.
I got a chuckle after reading the warning in the guide book to look out for the “silent transport.” In Paris we were told again and again to look out for pick-pockets. In Amsterdam, the concern is the silent transport.
But soon after arriving, we completely understood what this means. Amsterdam is the wild west of bicycles.
We saw people pedaling as fast as they could through intersections full of other bikers, some texting, some with children hanging off of them and not one bike stopped to make sure an intersection was safe before going straight through. The motorized scooters even use the bike lanes – it is absolute chaos for a first-timer!
We were amazed that we didn’t witness an accident. When we asked the hosts at our Bed and Breakfast how people know who has the right of way, the response was “The person who looks the fiercest.”
Amsterdam is really a study in contradictions. On one street, you have peaceful, picturesque canals with rows of historic buildings. On the next street, you have the red light district, where scantily-clad women pose in windows, calling out for business.
The city is surprisingly urban, but geographically tiny. The smell of marijuana pervades the city and shops selling mushrooms and bongs are simply another form of commerce.
We loved Amsterdam. It is a high energy city with a little something for everyone.
Highlights of our trip included the Anne Frank House, the Van Gogh Museum and a bike ride through the countryside.
Since this is Photo Friday, I thought I would share some of my favorite photos.
What do you think? When you think of Amsterdam, what comes to mind? Have you ever been to Amsterdam? If you were to go, what would you look forward to seeing most?
I would love to hear your thoughts. Thank you for reading!