Amsterdam!! One of my most favourite places in Europe. We were lucky to have our friend Ramon there who hosted us during our three days stay. I do not have to cite you the examples why it is a traveller’s paradise,you know it all. But I certainly would like to share, why I loved it . In this era of ‘showing off’ one’s own possessions in every social media, I found the exclusive dependence of the city on bikes extremely appealing..it is so inspiring that somewhere people are so environment friendly .. I loved the greenery-so much within a metro, enjoyed the canals , felt the emotional bond once again with Anne while visiting her house, met some awesome people, got lost in the beautiful Jordaan.. dazzled with the beautiful women in the red light district. made friendship with an old bookshop owner while listening to the story of travel in his young days… was surprised by the ethnic tolerance …and I wanted to go back time & again!!
Amsterdam is truly gezellig, a Dutch quality that translates roughly as cosy, more easily experienced than defined. There’s a sense an intimacy of the here that leaves all your troubles behind, it is so relaxing. But the best way to feel that, is to get lost in the city by foot. It is not a very big town, you can easily cover it by walking in 2 -3 days.Though, the hop off hop on have their own sight seeing tours along with numerous bike tours and boat tours, I would suggest , simply walk and feel the city in your veins.. With the moto “Leef en last leven’ meaning live and let live’ , the city certainly welcomes all visitors.
Dam Square lies in the historical center of Amsterdam, approximately 750 meters south of the Centraal Station, at the original location of the dam in the river Amstel. It is indeed the most vibrant place of the town. The Dam marks the endpoint of the other well-traveled streets Nieuwendijk, Kalverstraat and Damstraat. A short distance beyond the northeast corner lies the main red-light district: de Wallen.
On the west end of the square is the neoclassical Royal Palace, which served as the city hall until its conversion to a royal residence. Beside it are the 15th-century Gothic Nieuwe Kerk (New Church) and the Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum. The National Monument, a white stone pillar designed by J.J.P. Oud and erected in 1956 to memorialize the victims of World War II, dominates the opposite side of the square. Also overlooking the plaza are the NH Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky and the upscale department store De Bijenkorf. All day long, several street artists and music bands perform here spreading a lively wave .
Amsterdam is certainly ‘the city of bikes’. The bicycle culture with good facilities for cyclists such as bike paths and bike racks, and several guarded bike storage garages (fietsenstalling) for a nominal fee is unique and found in no other city. In 2013, there were about 1,200,000 bicycles in Amsterdam outnumbering the amount of citizens in the city. Theft is widespread – in 2011, about 83,000 bicycles were stolen in Amsterdam. Bicycles are used by all socio-economic groups because of their convenience and Amsterdam’s small size, the 400 kilometres (249 miles) of bike paths…and I guess another reason must be they love their city…
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