Tuesday, July 27, 2010


If you read my earlier posts on our "incident" in Amsterdam, you may be thinking we'll be reluctant to go back there again. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The city delighted us all over again with its characteristic architecture, intricate canal system and avant garde personality. The photo above is of one of the classier of the hundreds and hundreds of houseboats that line the canals. The house we stayed in, on a quiet alley but right in the city center, was built in 1740. Because space is at such a premium, the houses are built up and not out; in fact, property taxes are paid based on the width of the house's façade. The staircases in these houses are so steep, they're almost like climbing up and down a ladder. At the top of each house, a large hook can be seen. This is for hoisting furniture, which is then moved in or out of a window rather than the front door.

You would have to ask one of our tour participants as to the highlight of our week in Amsterdam; some might say the Anne Frank house, or the Ten Boom house in nearby Haarlem, others might cite the day we rented bikes and rode them through the polders north of the city, or others still may talk about taking in Van Gogh and the Dutch Masters. Whatever the case, we look forward to introducing others to this underestimated city. Will you be one of those?

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