Canals & Houseboats, Amsterdam
Favorite thing: On many canals in Amsterdam you will see houseboats. Some ugly ones, but most of them are very beautiful, giving some daydreaming about having such a home self. But when thinking of it, they must be quite sick of all tourists who always are so curious about their home.
I found most of my travel experiences very relaxing because I didn't have a set daily plan of what I was going to do/see. The girls that I traveled with to Amsterdam were similar in they were up for anything at anytime.
Feeling like you HAVE to see something would add an uneeded stress to a pleasant trip.
Fondest memory: The best part of Amsterdam in my point of view was walking through the city and seeing the diversity and unusual aspect that it had to offer. Amsterdam is a very beautiful and walkable city.
Favorite thing: "Lijst" gevels are belonging to the most simple facades in the Amsterdam calahouses. Mostly it is used in front of a flat roofed building. "Lijst" means something like "frame" and is a straight (sometimes however richly decorated) horizontal line. When decorations are added one can speak about a hightened "lijst" facade and this style is often seen in A'dam.
Favorite thing: Canal houses that you see everywhere in Amsterdam, were no more then storage houses. In medieval times this town was the most important harbour for the Netherlands, yes even one of the most important ones in Europe. The canal houses higher floors were storage rooms, which is still recognised on the door-like and high windows. Another prove of the storage function is the hook on top of each house. A bar is sticking out at the top and in it is a “katrol” (a steel ring, through which a roop was running up and down). This way the goods could be lifted to the right place, as the staircases in crowded Amsterdam were deliberately built very small and winding, therefore not suitable to be used as way of transport up. It was also not wished for to let the goods (and men) pass through the private quarters of the trader that was mostly located on the first floor(s). Below ground (the souterain) was for servants (sometimes a little entrance door for them in the stairs). Now-a-days the “katrol” is still used. How else would one get large furniture pieces, like cupboards, closets, couches and whole piano’s) inside the building.
Favorite thing: Wander about on foot and get the feel of the city. The architecture is great - the old gabled houses, several stories high. The wonderful canals with their busy commuters and sightseers. The bikes... and the bikes.... The infamous red light district - definitely an enlightenment. The wonderful cafe's, restaurants.... so many things to take in, just walking about.
Take advantage of the beautiful canals. The houses along the canals are beautiful and I find the houseboats so interesting. Most of the residents of these floating homes had to do so because of a lack of living space in Amsterdam. The canals offer a great place to absorb Amsterdam's beauty while getting some great excersice.
Fondest memory: The fondest memory I have of Amsterdam is when Elisabeth and I sat at our hotel room window for a while and watched the small boats navigate their way ever so calmly through the Prinsengracht.
Favorite thing: There are numerous tourist boats doing the rounds, and it's also possible to rent a pedal boat, if you're feeling energetic. Of course, if the canals freeze over in winter, the boats get stuck and there's skating to be had
there are 2000 houseboats on the canals :-)
all over the city you find these houseboats on the canals. The Amnsterdam government had to limit the number of allowed houseboats because of shortage of place.
My first impressions of Amsterdam were not great. In fairness, we did walk from CS to Dam Square via Damrak, and this area is probably the most noisy and touristy in the city. We then went on to Damstraat and things didn't get much better, and I was beginning to think that everybody who had told me how great Amsterdam was must have been smoking something strange.
But on turning the next corner, we found ourselves on a quiet street, alongside a canal, with many of those pretty gable houses on either side. It was such a relief to find this street to counter our initial impressions. I later discovered that this quiet street was the southern part of Oude Zijds Voorburgwal, a street whose northern end is definitely not known for it's architecture or tranquility:))
Favorite thing: Take a boat cruise down the canals of Amsterdam. You get a great view of the city and most of the boat cruises seem to be commentated in a few different languages too. The cruise we went on was fairly cheap too...and very relaxing...
There are two sides to Amsterdam:
The traditional old town full of canals and winding streets AND the modern version consisting of pubs clubs and the red light district.
Amsterdamers are very tollerant of different ideas and opinions and much here is overlooked
Favorite thing: Away from the main sites of the city lie many charming streets with great architecture. The houses are superb, as seen here with these red windo shutters. Canals on one side, trees dotted along them, and tall clean facades on the other…
In the 17th century a beautiful panorama of towers made Amsterdam recognizable from a far.
All towers, including the churchtowers, were property of the local municipal government.
Not only did they serve as points of orientation and clockworks of the city, they also were a look out post (fire brigade).
They were not only useful, they also were a 'cieraet deser stede' (jewel of the city), which explains the many view throughs.
The many towers of the city showed how wealthy Amsterdam was.
The Montelbaanstower and Munttower are fine examples of the former wealth. These two towers are remains of defense towers from the Middle Ages, which got a new top in the 17th century (in 1606 and 1620).
These decorative renaissance towers were designed by the city building master Hendrick de Keyser.
The Montelbaanstoren is 48 m, the Munttoren 41 m high.
Favorite thing: One of my favorite things to do in Amsterdam was just to walk along the canals and bridges and look at the scenery. It is a beautiful city that you must walk around in to enjoy. Take plenty of time. Every corner and every street offers a new experience.
even though most of the canals and streets look the same if you look close you'll see major differences throughout the city..
Fondest memory: again i fell in love with amsterdam, i believe i could live here if i get my dutch down....