Photo Friday: Amsterdam

Copyright JC Politi Photography

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!

Copyright JC Politi Photography
I love this one because of the reflection of the bikes in the window. This was Amsterdam to me!

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.

Copyright JC Politi Photography
Parking lot at the train station. This was at least 4 stories high of bicycles!

Copyright JC Politi Photography
These were the houses lining the canals. They all lean forward and have hooks at the top so they can use a pulley system to pull furniture up and through the windows!

Copyright JC Politi Photography
This is a brewery that is under one of the last windmills in the city. The windmills helped regulate the water flow to Amsterdam, which is below sea level.

Copyright JC Politi Photography
Amsterdam canals at night

Copyright JC Politi Photography
We went on a beautiful bike tour to the countryside and visited a farm where they made cheese and clogs.

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!


Filed under Art, Culture, International, Photography, Photos, Stereotypes, travel

38 responses to “Photo Friday: Amsterdam

  1. Great photos, Jen. (Why are you taking classes in photography again?) My only experience with Amsterdam was on my way through — from Minneapolis to Paris on my way to Chartres. But what I saw I liked. Many thanks for sharing your trip with us. 🙂

    • Seriously! Photography classes? What you have, Jen, can’t be taught! xoM

      • Wow – how sweet!!! I hope that my photography gets better and better once I realize why some things work and others don’t. Honestly, I think my greatest skill is taking lots of photos – one or two are inevitably going to turn out OK! Thanks so much for the sweet comment!!

    • Hugh, you are too sweet!! I have SO much to learn, but I do feel like I am getting better at “seeing” the shots. I am hoping the class will help me figure out how to take a great shot every time – at least not to have my lighting wrong or something like that. I actually have a photo exhibit at the local cafe here starting on Monday – I am so excited – and exhausted from getting everything ready. It is no small feat!! Thanks so much for the support and encouragement! And glad you got to see a bit of Amsterdam on your travels. It is certainly worth a stop!!

  2. My sis and I flew into Amsterdam and went straight to Haarlam (which was one of my favorite cities.). Wish we had more time to check it out though. Haarlam was the same way with bikes! Loved it. 😀

  3. Thanks for the bike tour! Beautiful photos.

  4. It’s one thing to hear about the dominance of bicycles in Amsterdam, it’s quite another to see it! And pulleys to bring the furniture in through the windows…wish I’d had that when I moved to my first apartment in New York: a fifth floor walk-up. Thank goodness I’d had the forethought to stock up on beer! I haven’t been to Amsterdam, but these pictures reminded me very much of Bruges in Belgium: the canals and the architecture are very similar. Great pictures, Jen!

  5. Can we all be more than a wee bit jealous Jenni?

    • 🙂 I guess the grass is always greener in somebody else’s yard, as my friend Ani DiFranco says. We don’t have kids, so we just spend the non-existent kids’ college fund! 😉 Thanks so much for stopping by and taking time to leave a comment!

  6. Love your photos and the account of your visit. Yes, I’ve been to Amsterdam a couple of times. The first time as a child, to visit relatives we have there. I had a pair of those wooden clogs for years. I don’t know how anyone can walk in them. I tried, but they were so uncomfortable. 🙂 It’s a miracle how people find their bikes again out of all the thousands in that garage.

    • I can’t imagine trying to walk in those things!!! And I completely agree that it would be impossible to find your bike! I have enough trouble trying to find my car in a garage!! Thanks so much for the comment!

  7. Wonderful post … with excellent photos about a city I like very much and have visited a couple of times. Love that photo – Amsterdam canals at night. Also the parking for the bikes. Great memories came back to me.

  8. Beautiful photos of an absolutely beautiful city. My daughter has an opportunity to study abroad ad Amsterdam is one of the choices. I’m going to pass this on to her so she can get a glimpse.

  9. All we seem to manage at the moment is horrible touchdowns in the airport with not enough time to get connecting flights. We must take some time out there again – it is a fabulous city!

  10. Sadly the only place I’ve ever been in Europe is Berlin, which is a great city but I would love to see more! Great photos – thanks for taking me along!

  11. Jenni, what a great recap of this portion along your trip – wonderful images. I love ‘silent transport’. Of all though, without a doubt, I would most love to see the Anne Frank house.

  12. I think this is the first time I’ve gotten a review from someone who didn’t spend the whole time in “specialty” shops. 8). Beautiful!

  13. I have only been in the Amsterdam airport and what an impressive airport it is!! Efficient, clean and they sell tulips!! I wish I had taken that pic. Amsterdam is one of those cities I’d love to visit and explore. thanks for your wonderfully informative post. Great photos too!! love the windmill, awesome sky!!

  14. Great post! I love Amsterdam too! Great town!

  15. The night photo was spectacular! I love how golden everything looks. If I were to go to Amsterdam, I would definitely look for the windmills and take a ride along one of the canals. 🙂

  16. Dear Jenni,
    “Whoever looks the fiercest!!”…haha!!!!
    I want to go there now! !*:)

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