Day 4: Amsterdam – Europe 2012
I don’t even know where to start when it comes to describing how beautiful I think the Netherlands are. I mean, putting aside my amateur photography, the photos speak for themselves.
We started off the day visiting the Peace Palace, a great example at showing off the country’s true colours and beautiful landscaping. Most of the country is below sea-level, so much of their land is surrounded by water, rivers, creeks and man-made reservoirs to make up for the abundance of water. From a visual standpoint, the scenery is fantastic. The way the landscaping intertwines with the water; and how life revolves around nature.
Our afternoon was spent at the “Zaanse Schans” where we got to tour their land, seeing how their cheese is made, tasting some cheese/wine combinations, as well as seeing how the traditional wooden shoe is made. Again, the scenery was magnificent – with their farm sitting on the riverside and windmills everywhere. It was literally one breathtaking-view after another.
We progressed by visiting the Diamond Factory in Amsterdam, getting a tutorial about how diamonds are made and classified; followed by visiting a few local food stands serving up cappuccinos, and custom-made dutch burgers. It was the perfect afternoon of local culture.
Ending our afternoon and kicking off our evening included a spectacular cruise through the city’s canals (very reminiscent of Venice), where we had an opportunity to take in the architecture and hear about how the city was formed around its dams, water locks, and many manmade waterways.
If you ever get a chance to visit Amsterdam, you’ll notice that there is an over-abundance of bicycles, scooters, and other related two-wheeled vehicles. There are even dedicated parkades for bicycles, and it is the one of the main modes of transportation for Amsterdam residents.
I also learned a lot through taking a stroll down the streets. I won’t even get started about their Red Light District; but if that’s your thing, you’ll go bananas, pardon the pun.
I can go on and on about how beautiful it is here, but it wouldn’t nearly do the experience justice. Take a look at a few of the photos below! Really, I would classify it as being of the most beautiful cities in the world.
Tomorrow, we’re moving onto Paris! A long day of driving ahead of us. Chat soon!