AmsterdamCoffee Shops; Red-lit Hookers; Great Museums; Stunning Architecture; & That Cobweb Of Canals
“… known for its liberal attitudes towards sex & drugs – no you don’t have to enter but it’s still a challenge to avoid the adult shops, the street-fronting red-lit hooker rooms & the city’s numerous, notorious & distinctively-smelling coffee shops catering to the freewheeling types the city attracts.”
Image || Canal. Amsterdam, Netherlands. January 19, 2016.
OK so the Dutch capital is known for its liberal attitudes towards sex & drugs – no you don’t have to enter but it’s still a challenge to avoid the adult shops, the street-fronting red-lit hooker rooms & the city’s numerous, notorious & distinctively-smelling coffee shops catering to the freewheeling types the city attracts. Those aspects of Amsterdam get all the attention but the so-called Venice of the North also boasts great museums, stunning architecture and of course that UNESCO-listed cobweb of canals.
– UNESCO commenting on Seventeenth-Century Canal Ring Area of Amsterdam inside the Singelgracht.
Anne Frank Huis (House)
The first thing I did on this my third visit to Amsterdam, but first since 2003, after arriving this afternoon off the train from Delft was to pay a visit to the Anne Frank Huis (House), the place where the 13-year-old German Jew and her family famously hid from Nazi Germany for over two years before being betrayed & ultimately dying – save for the father, Otto – in Nazi Concentration Camps.
At its simplest, what played out here was a high-stakes story of hide & seek, one that produced a very famous & widely published (into 70 languages) diary. The present-day museum, somewhere I visited over a quarter of a century ago on my first visit to Amsterdam meaning I’ve no relocation of that early 90’s visit, does a fabulous job at not only telling the Frank story but also of the plight of the European Jews under Nazi Germany.
Right, I need a breather after that. I’m off to explore the Red Light District. Just looking though folks, just looking.
Red Light District
– The Rough Guide to Netherlands
Dam Square & Damrak
A few randoms from Amsterdam.
I’m ticking the Dutch stereotype boxes. So far I’ve photographed Edam cheese, (ceramic & plastic) tulips, clogs, numerous canals, countless bicycles, some hash paraphernalia, & the odd red-tinged hooker (honest, & I wasn’t arrested). The only Dutch stereotype missing was the windmill. So today I headed out of the capital to Zaanse Schans, an area of working windmills on the Zaan River north of Amsterdam.
I’m done with Amsterdam (& the Netherlands) & tomorrow I’ll be riding the European rails again en route to Bremen, Germany. The girl in the train ticket office this evening was very nice, somehow bagging me an €84 ticket for €37; I didn’t ask any questions. I think she liked my accent. The Dutch seem to like me. They are a notoriously tolerant bunch and tolerate many kinds I know, but still. Anyway, I’ll be back in Germany tomorrow, my favourite country in Europe.