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Amsterdam Canal Scene

My friend, TrekCapri, is planning a trip to Amsterdam in November. I love Holland. I have had the opportunity to live for short periods in both Den Haag and Leiden as part of my former job. My first opportunity was in 1990 when we were opening the office in Den Haag. The staff was small and I was responsible for hiring a permanent technical support engineer for the office. It was a lifetime dream to be able to live and work in Europe and I never thought it would be possible. It was from September until January which is an interesting time to be in Holland. The weather changes dramatically from hour to hour. Winds funnel down off the North Seas and swirl the clouds. The streets were lined with Sycamore or Plane trees. The leaves covered the sidewalks and always made for a noisy walk. One day the leaves were gone. The city had waited until all the leaves were down before coming by and sweeping them up.

The days grew short. I had not realized how far north Holland was located. By December, the sun was not coming up until almost 9am and was sitting by 4pm. But it was beautiful and so diverse. I hope to give some tips on visiting The Netherlands in the next few posts.

Meanwhile, here are some photos of a quick walk around the canal area in Amsterdam. I had a 5 hour layover in Amsterdam on my way to Nice so I took the train in from Schiphol. It takes about 20 minutes and it is quite easy. From Centraal Station, I walked up Damrak in the morning. It is pretty quiet in Amsterdam until about 10am. Workers were rushing to and fro and it happened to be garbage day but otherwise not a lot of traffic. From the Dam I walked over towards Prinsengracht which is one of my favorite canals. I walked towards Leidsestraat and then heading towards the Bloemenmarkt (Flower market) along Singel. This took about 1 hour to walk and I was back in the airport by 10am.

Looking back down Damrak. Centraal Station is in the distance. Typical tram, lights and bike path

I love the shop windows. They always have the most interesting and unusual displays


You will find a wide variety of bikes including bakfiets or cargo bikes

The typical bike is a 3 speed bike designed for city traffic. Don't you just love her coordinating shirt and sneakers?

Typical canal house

Some can be quite narrow

But if you slow down, you can often find whimsical items

Amsterdam - Flower Market
In the fall, crates and crates of Spring bulbs in the Flower Market

Comments (7)

Kathy (Trekcapri):

Hi Marta, how exciting to read your post this evening. What a great experience you had to work for several months in Holland. I really enjoyed reading this post about your walk and the photos you took along the way. All of your photos are just beautiful. I also find it so interesting how narrow the houses are. It does seem like Amsterdam is a interesting city to explore with so many quirky, fun and unexpected discoveries. I love the cat climbing along the side of the building. I'll have to make sure my camera is ready for those great photo opps. I'm not sure if the flower market will be open during my stay but I think it would be so much fun to check it out and maybe get some flowers for my apartment. I think my apartment is overlooking your favorite canal, so that's pretty cool. Thanks so much for the tips on the weather and short daylight hours. That's a cool cargo bike. I want to take as many photos of the different and unique bikes as I can. I'm pretty sure that I'll rent one so I can cruise around the city and do as the locals do. I don't think I'll have matching color shoes though. :)

Thanks also for telling me about Krista's blog. I read her entries and really enjoyed it. She did some interesting things during her visit and took some great photos too.

Thank you so much Marta for taking the time to post your photos and write about your experiences. It would be wonderful to see more of your photos and read about your experiences. I'm getting pretty excited!

I love these photos. That is so cool that you were able to live there for part of a year. I loved Amsterdam and hope to get back there someday, if I can tear myself away from Italy.

I love the climbing cat too!


Hi Marta,
I love this post! I've been looking for this kind of information. I'll have a 1-day layover in Amsterdam at the end of my trip in November and have been trying to figure out how to spend it. I look forward to more posts about your time in Holland.

One of my colleagues at work loves Amsterdam and has been 28 times. From your pictures I can see why!


Wonderful photos, Marta! I would really like spend some time in Amsterdam! (And the cat is fantastic!)

Barb Cabot:

Marta I have very fond memories of times I have visited Holland. Wonderful that you were able to live there. What a great experience. My husband and I visited Leiden and loved it. His professor was on Sabbatical there and we were met at the airport and whisked off to Leiden one summer long ago. At the end of the trip our flight was cancelled. We were put up an extra night in a hotel and had a free day to explore once more. Someone at the airport could not take their pickled herring with onions on the plane. They gave a big package of fish wrapped in paper to Mike. He ate it happily.

Great photos! Brings back wonderful memories. I really should try to get a flight through Amsterdam one of these days and do a layover there.

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