Amsterdam

Amsterdam Canal Cruise – Day 2: The Blizzard Tour

At points visibility was really low!

At points visibility was really low!

Because we couldn’t get in all the canal cruises in on Day 1 we headed back to Amsterdam the next day despite the fact that it was snowing like heck most of the day. It actually made the day a bit more fun and adventurous especially because the Dutch railroad is NOT known for it’s dependability when it snows. In the back of our minds we thought there might be the possibility that we would have to find a bus to get home or a hotel to stay in overnight. Fortunately that wasn’t necessary and we were able to get home via the railroad.

Matt ready to take on day 2!

Matt ready to take on day 2!

This duck, however, thinks we're crazy!

This duck, however, thinks we’re crazy!

And, of course, it wouldn’t be an adventure without a picture of us! 🙂

Neither rain nor snow nor...oh wait that's not our motto!

Neither rain nor snow nor…oh wait that’s not our motto!

I didn’t take a lot of pictures this day because the snow was coming down pretty thick most of the day. It was fun but it was hard getting great pictures…

The visibility was like this on and off all day.

The visibility was like this on and off all day.

The next couple of shots are of a replica of the famous Dutch ship called The Amsterdam. It was an 18th Century cargo ship of the Dutch East India Company. If you would like to know all about this beautiful ship CLICK HERE.

Beautiful Dutch Ship

Beautiful Dutch Ship

Beautiful Dutch Ship 2

Beautiful Dutch Ship 2

Dutch flagging flying high!

Dutch flagging flying high!

Right next to this lovely ship you’ll find the National Maritime Museum also known as Het Scheepvaartmuseum!

Het Scheepvaartmuseum, Amsterdam

Het Scheepvaartmuseum, Amsterdam

Just in case you weren’t convinced about how cold it was, here are some icy canal photos. For more of a real experience put on the theme to Titanic and you’ll be hearing exactly what I was hearing (well, in my head at least…In reality I was hearing scraping ice on the side of the boat too…) while on the boat.

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Does that seagull look pissed to you? He’s at least moderately grumpy due to the whole ice thing…

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You can’t really tell from the photo but this ice is fairly thick.

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Ice covered boats, Amsterdam

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I think some of these boats have seen better days!

Here is some raw footage of our icy Amsterdam Canal cruise. Being I am so behind on my travel blogs I didn’t take any extra time to edit out and only pick the key moments but I think you’ll still enjoy watching this.

Matt in Amsterdam City Center in the snow!!!

Matt in Amsterdam City Center in the snow!!!

A very cold me in front of Amsterdam Centraal Station on way back to Alphen.

A very cold me in front of Amsterdam Centraal Station on way back to Alphen.

Amsterdam Centraal Station is housed in a really beautiful old and ornate building. Simply gorgeous. Check out this quick little video I made of the building and the area around it. It was impossible to get that big building in one photo and do it justice but the video does a really good job of it.

Well that’s all for our Amsterdam travels. Just a few more Netherlands post and we’re off to the next destination. Stay tuned for more…

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Categories: Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands, Netherlands | Tags: , , | 4 Comments

Amsterdam Canal Cruise – Day 1: The Sunshine Tour

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One of the many boats along the canal that fascinated me! This one is so romantic!

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.

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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.

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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!

Canals, bicycles, and seagulls...it must be Amsterdam!

Canals, bicycles, and seagulls…it must be Amsterdam!

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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!

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Some more beautiful architecture coming up…

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The detail on these buildings are stunning!

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It’s like a mini White House! I want to live here!

I can picture myself sunning in that wonderful sun room in this next house…

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Sun room and everything…

Me looking pretty damn cold...I was!

Me looking pretty damn cold…I was!

I think this next picture shows I was pretty justified in shivering….

Ice, Ice, Baby!!

Ice, Ice, Baby!!

I love the splashes of color that the boats add to the cold, icy landscape in these next few pictures!

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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.

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This one has the crest on the door too!

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!

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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.

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Tommy Hilfiger knows how to get things directly shipped in to them…

Tommy Hilfiger, Amsterdam

Tommy Hilfiger, Amsterdam

Beautiful canal views!

Beautiful canal views!

Beautiful ornate bridge, Amsterdam

Beautiful ornate bridge, Amsterdam

And lots of house boats lined the canals. Almost tempts you to want to rent one for a bit and see how it is.

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We really loved these buildings on the canals with the green and red shutters.

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Accents of red and green brighten up the cold, grey day.

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Very cool clock tower coming up…

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And more very large house boats on the canals…

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What’s more Dutch than bicycles…everywhere!

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Imagine living on the canal like that? Amazing!

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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).

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Schipol Airport's famous 'I amsterdam' sign at night in the snow.

Schipol Airport’s famous ‘I Amsterdam’ sign at night in the snow.

And here is a picture of Matt and I as we start out on our canal cruise…

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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!

 

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