|Canals zigzagging the city...Amsterdam: Venice of the North|
What comes to your mind when you think of Amsterdam? For me its the gloomy, rainy weather, tulips, beautiful houses along canals and bicycles. Not to forget the nightlife but I would come to that later on. Now don't say windmills too! Who can see windmills in midst of a city? They are a part of the Dutch countryside which I have loved even more than Amsterdam! Coming back to the city.
For a person living in Delhi, Amsterdam is a really small city. I mean you can cover it in a single day. Well this does not apply if you want to analyze everything minutely. However, during our 24 hours, we tried to cover as much as possible; at least all the famous things! After a tranquil experience at the countryside, we hurriedly headed to the city centre to cover as many spots as possible.
The centre of the city is Dam Square, the way Connaught Place is the centre of Delhi. It was raining the moment we stepped out of the airport. Amsterdam was really cold (I had expected it to be 20 degrees) and we did not have anything wintery. I had a couple of blazers but they were not enough to combat the chill plus rain. In fact we both were the only ones to roam around in summer clothes!
The entire city was bustling with tourists and locals alike. It was 'summer' after all! But Dam Square was particularly crowded.
|The largest departmental store in the Netherlands with its flagship store in Dam Square.|
We stopped at a McDonald''s in Dam Square for a cuppa to warm up. We had a funny experience there. The price to use the washroom in McDonald's is one euro and when you pay, you get a voucher for a cold drink worth 50 cents!! That was something absolutely new for us!!
The rain and the cold wind had been too much for us. After that we proceeded towards the actual square. The Royal Palace on one side, Madame Tussauds in the corner and the huge departmental store De'Bjenkorf on the other side. It was crazily crowded and noisy so we decided to make a quick exit.
|A man in a 'don't know what' costume. In front of the Royal Palace|
|A panoramic view of Dam Square|
|Notice the warm clothing of the fellow pedestrians!|
|Cycles and cyclists are a menace in Amsterdam!|
Amsterdam is famous for its history too. There are a hundred of museums and we decided to pay a visit in one of them. The Anne Frank House or the Anne Frank Huis is the preserved house where Anne Frank stayed hidden and wrote her diaries during the World War II.
There are many other museums like the Rijks Museum, Van Gogh museum etc etc but they would be in another post.
|In front of the Anne Frank House or Huis in Dutch|
Amsterdam is not known as the Venice of the North without substantial reasons. There are hundreds of canals encircling the city layer by layer. The canals have rather complicated names. eg Prince canal is known as Prisengracht Canal in Dutch! I found Dutch language very tough. Maybe because I have learnt Italian and Spanish seems familiar.
|The canals in Amsterdam have quite complicated names!|
Tulips are one of my favourite flowers. I have visited the two homelands of tulips: Turkey and Netherlands. But have never seen the fields. We have visited during summers and hence no tulips. Thankfully the Amsterdam Tulip Museum helped me fulfill my tulip dreams. I touched them. They are so delicate and pretty!
|Got to see and touch tulips even in the midst of summers!|
|I have been in love with tulips since times immemorial! For those wondering, these are real tulips!|
The neighborhoods are particularly beautiful in Amsterdam. Among these the prettiest are found in the Jordaan Neighborhood. Since it was raining so heavily, we could not take satisfactory pictures.
|A dreamy home of Jordaan neighborhood..|
|Cycles and cyclists are quite a menace in Amsterdam|
|The Prinsengracht or the Prince Canal.|
|The Westerkerk Church in the Jordaan district.|
The Westerkerk Church is a Dutch protestant church in the Jordaan neighborhood. When we were there, the church gong struck seven.
|Probably our only couple picture in Amsterdam!|
With so much rain and cold, we were exhausted from time to time but the experience is unforgettable nonetheless.
Purse: from Dubai