A travel blog of Ireland, Europe, and New Zealand

Touring Amsterdam

A bright Saturday afternoon and it seems the whole of Amsterdam is out socialising. Sitting at canal-side cafes or on boats. And on bikes, bikes and more bikes.

AmTour01Doesn’t it just make you want to paint it all?

AmTour02As part of our eating tour, our guide Rudolph took us on some interesting byways, several times ducking down narrow alleys behind the houses into communal squares where the children play, vegetables are grown, and where water was once pumped. Where apartments do have balconies they are often very tiny but maximum use is gained from them.

Many of the houses had plaques depicting the occupation of the inhabitant, a relic from the times when literacy was not high. You can probably guess most of them. I was particularly intrigued with a former pork butcher’s shop labelled Vette Varken (Fat Pig). It is now a Halal butchery called the Fat Calf. Dutch law forbids the removal of these historic plaques so the butchery has to exist, somewhat uneasily one imagines, with the original animal hanging over it.

I remain fascinated by the way the buildings lean and by their individual facades and rooflines. Also, note the relaxed attitude towards health and safety, seen here with the cafe tables right on the canal edge, often with little or no barrier in place. I wonder whether you would hear an increasing number of splashes as the evenings wear on… Notice also that every building has a protruding beam at the top with a hook on it. It’s the only way to hoist up items of furniture as the internal stairs are all very narrow. This is a result of being taxed on the width of one’s house, as the Amsterdamers are not noted for parting with their money unnecessarily.

AmTour13 AmTour14AmTour15 AmTour16

6 thoughts on “Touring Amsterdam

  1. Ruth Gorinski

    Absolutely stunning photos that capture the essence of life in Amsterdam….must say, that balmy weather looks pretty darn attractive right now!! So pleased you are both taking the wonderful opportunities to really explore European lifestyle

    1. Pip

      Thanks Ruth (Pip here). Yes, we are blessed indeed being able to take advantage of this kind of opportunity. Amsterdam was on my bucket list rather than Bruce’s but we are both so glad to have had the chance to visit. And yes, his photographs go from strength to strength!

  2. Linda Cory

    Wow – Amsterdam looks great. Even from rural Normandy where I am now.. Really good photo’s. Greetings 🙂 Linda

  3. Jenny Newby-Fraser

    Fabulous photos Fergusons. Who’s the photographer?Because I am so new to this blog site I spent late last night reading your postings and catching up on your two+ years. Wonderful. Terry and I visiting Ireland earlyish October, will hire a car, so great to read of the places you’ve been and things you’ve done. Will let you know when we plan to be in Dublin and hopefully we can have a Guiness or two!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *