In 2009, we did a two-week home exchange in Amsterdam. That exchange included the use of a small boat with a detachable motor to cruise the canals (and a couple of bottles of wine to drink while we were out on the canals), which we did most evenings. On nice evenings, Amsterdam’s canals are full of people in all sorts of boats, some of them set up with quite elaborate feasts, blasting music, and celebrating.
Traveling along the canals provides a different perspective on the city. To see what’s happening on the streets, you have to look up; if you’ve ever wanted to peer inside a houseboat, canal cruising provides the perfect opportunity, and meandering through the canals can take you to parts of the city, you wouldn’t necessarily visit otherwise. If you want to stop somewhere, you just guide your boat to the canal’s edge, tie it up, and hoist yourself to street level.
I took this photo as we passed under a bridge. It is one of my favorite photos from the trip. I love the water-level perspective it gives of the city, and the perfect oval created by the reflection of the bridge’s supporting arch.
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