24 February 2006

Checking up on the canals

I've made it to Amsterdam by train (about two hours north of where I was earlier in the week) through all kinds of agricultural land criss-crossed with canals, paddocks, and neatly organized crops. Now I'm in a spiffy hotel (that I LOVE and would definitely stay in again) with a great view from the window. Haven't seen much of Amsterdam yet but so far it's as liberal as advertised, with a Soho-ish feeling of narrow streets, interesting architecture, and very specific stores and restaurants. I've forgotten what it's like to have all this choice and variety. Dinner will be an entertaining challenge!

Since Icelandair doesn't fly direct to The Land tomorrow, I'm here until Sunday. A whole day plus afternoon of time just to be here, and on an expense account for my meals :-D

I think this will help make up for the grueling three days I just had...

Ship spotting: If I ever wanted to become a Boat Connossieur in a more urban country, this might be the place. I love that the canals are all looking scenic and everything but seem to also be used for transport as much as roads here. There's loads of cool flat-bottomed canal boats chugging up and down everywhere, and on the way in to Amsterdam on the train I saw houseboats of every variety.


Sirry said...

If you Love Amsterdam, you'll Love Copenahagen too. They are similar, but great for different things. They both have the canals, they both have great design and fashion (although the Belgians are considered to be the hidden jewel of fashion in Europe)
The difference of Amsterdam and Copenhagen are the shrimps! That is to die for in DK and their bakery stuff.....it is yummie, so DK gets my vote for better food.

If you really want to experience the Dutch I recommend a weekend trip for Koninginnendag which is April 30th. Koninginnen Nacht is fantastic too, The Hague always had a fantastic drinking and music program. Amsterdam gets drinking and fleamarkets and travels up and down the canals on the 30th.

So if you want to visit again and can find a good flight, I'd say do it, you'd have a blast there with J

carmen said...

The sweet thing with Amsterdam to me is that the scale feels approachable, human-sized. More like Reykjavik in that regard. Copenhagen is also beautiful but it already felt like a big city to me. But that butter...mmmm. (Though Smjör could take it on in a steel cage match.)