Tuesday, June 12, 2012

AMS Cont'd

Amsterdam is one of those cities whose reputation precedes it.  For us, it drew us in, again, not out.  Munich drew us out and we found we couldn't spend enough time outside whereas Amsterdam is great in doses and we were happy to wind our way either east or west of the center to get back "home" again.  It's not a negative thing.

People are drawn there for various reasons.  Looking at the walls of people coming out of Centraal Station, there is an expectancy in their faces.  Maybe the city will thrill them in the way they've imagined?  The energy of this particular city at least in the core, is very influenced by travellers.  To feel what the city is for its residents, go around and outside of the core.

We like the Oud West area.  It is residential and a pleasant stroll to the main canals.  My favourite corner and houseboat is located at Elandsgracht and Princengracht.  Plus it is only a short walk to Winkel, where you can find some yummy dutch apple pie. 

Being we like to stay in less touristic areas, we don't bump into too many tourists nor do we hear English.  I was on mental autopilot one afternoon at our neighbourhood grocery store and I thought I was being asked if I wanted a receipt or not (you don't automatically get one). 

So I said no and the cashier just stopped and stared at me.  Then I realized she must have asked me if I had the correct change so I said yes and started rummaging through my purse.  Then she asked me something else and by that time my brain had ceased to process anymore dutch and English wasn't getting spoken by either party so I paid and left.  It was our last day of the trip so I took it as a sign it was time to come home.

We had a ground level apartment with a back yard. 
Outdoor living spaces in Europe are a big deal.

My favourite houseboat.
Should I happen to come across a few million, I would buy one.

On our way to our favourite square to people watch.

I would love one of these houses too. 
It's pretty cool the ground floor has been gutted to be a garage.

We got to witness moving day at the start of the month.
Those steel things at the top of the buildings are for pulleys.
People were hauling couches etc. up to top floor apartments. 
Pretty cool to witness.

Cannot imagine how fun it would be to go to univerity there.


  1. I remember on my (only, so far) visit to Amsterdam, way back in '89, we were told the reason for the pulleys. Apparently the houses, particularly those beside the canals, with an ever so slight forward lean. The pulleys would be put into use to bring up goods from the canal boats, and the forward lean to the building ensured they - and the house - remained undamaged during the journey upwards.

    Amsterdam is so lovely.......

  2. That makes total sense. Next time I return, I will definitely analysis the lean! Thank you for providing such great insight!