Right before we left Holland (maybe 5 days before) we decided that you can’t go to the Netherlands and not do an Amsterdam canal cruise. So despite the fact that it was really cold and the canals were freezing, we headed to Amsterdam to experience the waterways for ourselves.
You can see by the above picture that the canals were all freezing and because of that there was only 2 of the 3 or 4 canal routes open. It was a really cool experience however if you’ve never heard the sound of ice scraping the side of the boat I can tell you that it is a little disconcerting. I just could not get the theme from the Titanic out of my head during both days of canal tours.
Holland has some really nice architecture that you can’t see anywhere else in the world and seeing it from the canals is absolutely incredible!
One thing I’ve learned from traveling is that you’re never too far from a Hard Rock Cafe and their ‘Save The Planet’ logo! Makes me smile every time!
Some more beautiful architecture coming up…
I can picture myself sunning in that wonderful sun room in this next house…
I think this next picture shows I was pretty justified in shivering….
I love the splashes of color that the boats add to the cold, icy landscape in these next few pictures!
Most of the buildings in the city have family crests on top from days gone by. There were no numbers on the houses (and mostly there still aren’t) because the houses were identified by the crests and the buildings had names.
And this next picture shows you how you move into one of these buildings. Due to the fact that in Amsterdam they build up and the buildings are tall and skinny the stairs are tall and skinny too making it impossible in most cases to move furniture in in the traditional way. Everything goes up and in the windows!
In this next picture you’ll see that at the top of most of these buildings are hooks that were (and still are to some extent) used to load things up and into the building.
Tommy Hilfiger knows how to get things directly shipped in to them…
And lots of house boats lined the canals. Almost tempts you to want to rent one for a bit and see how it is.
We really loved these buildings on the canals with the green and red shutters.
Very cool clock tower coming up…
And more very large house boats on the canals…
What’s more Dutch than bicycles…everywhere!
Imagine living on the canal like that? Amazing!
Then there’s the famous Grasshopper! It has everything from a steak house on the top floor, a sports bar on the middle floor and a coffee shop on the bottom floor that serves that green stuff that Amsterdam is known for (thus the name ‘Grasshopper’). Behind this building begins the Red Light District of which I have no photos (you are strictly not allowed to and there are people watching that you don’t…even if you don’t see them).
And here is a picture of Matt and I as we start out on our canal cruise…
Here are two videos I took of the canal tours. Nothing Oscar winning but still has some really cool bits. I hope you enjoy! Stay tuned for Part 2 of this post where we return the next day during on and off blizzard conditions to take the other canal tour!