The canals of Amsterdam - Inspiration, contemplation and so much more!

Windmills.  Tulips.  Wooden clogs.  Canals.  Venice of the North.  This is Amsterdam.  Originally founded as a fishing village in 1250, the capital of the Netherlands boasts more than 100 kilometers of canals, 90 islands and 1280 bridges.   In 2010, the three main canals that form a concentric ring around the city were recognized as an UNESCO World Heritage site. 

But let me not bore you with paragraph after paragraph of facts galore, dear reader, as you can easily research those yourself.  Having sojourned to Amsterdam numerous times over the past 25 years and then some, the lure of this Dutch city, at least for me, is not the cheese, the history nor even the museums, but is an attraction of an entirely different sort.  The canals.  All 165 of them.  And they’ve stolen my pink-sneaker heart.

Meandering along the cobblestone canal lined rues on a star-lit night, the twinkling and shimmering light dancing seductively on the water is both magical and mesmerizing – beckoning one to pause, reflect and contemplate the night away.

Not to be outdone by such over the top and achingly moving emotion, autumn throws her hat in the wind and offers a descriptive of yet another sort.  A carpet of golden hued leaves lies scattered all about, twirling and swirling in tune with the elements – whether it be a frenzied blow-out hurrah of cyclonic proportions or a lazy, hazy last day of summer elegantly orchestrated descent – a picture perfect postcard of amber, blonde and citron foliage in all of her October delight.

Even torrential downpours and bleak and dreary skies are not cause for despair, as the canals never disappoint, presenting themselves in an entirely different light.  It all depends upon your mindset and what you’re feeling at that particular moment.  Whether sad or glad or mad or not, it feels cathartic to just gaze out over the canals and live in the moment.  Of being there.  A part of history.  In Amsterdam.

A few interesting tidbits of fascinating info:

·       Did you know that there are over 2,500 + houseboats that line the Amsterdam canals?

·       And, that the law requires that the wooden boats have to be re-painted every 3 years?

·       Amsterdam has more bridges than Venice:  1281 versus 409!

·       There are over 900,000 bikes in Amsterdam and up to 15,000 of those bicycles end up being fished out from the canals.  Yikes!  Hopefully one of them is not my bike!!  But then again, I’m usually busy schlepping luggage up and down stairs, so no time for biking except for endless schlepping!

·       On that note – wonder how many pennies and coins are fished out from the canals each year?  Enough for a Chanel, LV or Birkin or two?

·       Swimming in the canals is not recommended as the canals are used as sewage dumps for the houseboats.  Note – the canals are flushed with water from the North Sea three times a week.

Next post – in four weeks!  Wednesday, November 30th!  Stay tuned for the continuation of the adventures of cuckoo ol’ Auntie Nora and sidekick Oz.

Note:  I'm having a bit of a glitch adding in pictures so will add in more pictures just as soon as these tech issues are resolved.  More pics tomorrow (I hope!).

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