We recently spent a long weekend in Amsterdam, arriving at 4:30 on the Friday afternoon and by 8pm we were out cruising the canals, not wanting to miss a moment of the short time available to us on this trip. We knew that there were some waterways in Amsterdam but did not realise just how extensive they are and how vital they are to the city. Amsterdam is particularly photogenic from the perspective of a boat and so there are lots of photos to come in this post!
It had been a cloudy day but by early evening the sun came out and at 8pm when the cruise started, the sun was just starting to set, providing that soft light which is evident in the first three photos below.
Most of the canals had roadways or at least paths alongside them but occasionally we would turn down a narrower section where the houses were hard up against the water, allowing the residents to take advantage of their very narrow balconies.
Then moving out towards the Amstel river from which the city gets its name we went past the Sea Palace, a floating Chinese restaurant which surely has to be the biggest in The Netherlands, if not in Europe, seating 1000 diners.
There are a variety of interesting architectures in Amsterdam, made even more picturesque by the setting sun. And if you think there is something odd about the second photo below, you’re right. Many of the buildings lean in different directions from the perpendicular, partly because of issues with subsiding land but also, I think because they were deliberately built that way, particularly the leaning forward ones.
What a magic evening! There are many tour boat operators on the Amsterdam canals and the one that we chose, after a bit of research, was an outfit called Those Dam Boat Guys. They are No. 1 of 72 boat tours on Tripadvisor and they definitely deserve their place at the top. We were in a small open boat with just 10 people plus the very knowledgeable and entertaining captain, David. And being such a small group, the interaction was great, no doubt helped along by the wine! We were probably not their usual demographic but felt quite at home with the other twenty-something and thirty-something passengers. A great start to the trip.