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Amsterdam, 2015


Instead of just walking around, this year we took a guided walking tour of Amsterdam.  That worked well, we saw things we never saw on our own, and received a history lesson at the same time.  The guide (Michael, of Free Walking Tours) did a great job, mixing facts and humor.

We started in the red light district (yes, girls were working at 3PM) followed by a visit to the Jewish neighborhood that was devastated in World War II.  We reviewed the history of the Dutch East India Company (Holland was the most powerful and rich country in the world during the Golden Age), and how that influenced the building of canals.

We learned about drugs in general (the Dutch have the most liberal laws, yet have one of the lowest drug use rates in the world).  We then traveled to the wealthy part of town, including a visit to one of the very expensive court yards.  We also visited a traditional cheese house and tried some samples.

As you look at the pictures, note how many buildings are leaning.  Amsterdam is on mainly reclaimed soil, which is unstable, and requires frequent maintenance.  So we learned a lot and were entertained at the same time.  A great afternoon!

The Royal Palace

The Royal Palace

A very fancy shopping center in an old building

A very fancy shopping center in an old building

Inside the shopping center

Inside the shopping center

Some government buildings and churches

Some government buildings and churches

Of course, a canal with typical bridge (and bicycles)

Of course, a canal with typical bridge (and bicycles)

Grandma with grandchild enjoying a break at a stoner coffee shop

Grandma with grandchild enjoying a break at a stoner coffee shop

Some impressive residential buildings

Some impressive residential buildings

Inside one of the private courtyards

Inside one of the private courtyards

More canals, more bicycles

More canals, more bicycles

Classy buildings along the canal

Classy buildings along the canal

Canal, and old church

Canal, and old church

Walking one of the shopping streets

Walking one of the shopping streets

Fashionable footwear

Fashionable footwear

Smallest house in Amsterdam (the red building), 39 inches wide and occupied too!

Smallest house in Amsterdam (the red building), 39 inches wide and occupied too!

  1. Susan
    September 8, 2015 at 6:17 am

    John I couldn’t believe those “strappy sandals” were on a guy! I don’t think the guy next to him was too happy with your taking his picture! Great pics as always!

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