not another cliche!
Amsterdam Travel Blog› entry 7 of 7 › view all entries
I have to admit that when I first visited the capital of Holland I had certain expectations. I expected rampant and obvious sexual freedom, I expected marijuana to rain over me in showers, I expected canals. Apart from that I was very little informed about this vibrant city. I had not expected it to switch so instantaneously from gaudy tourism to quiet beauty, I had not expected to be constantly (pleasantly) surprised by sights or sounds or people, and I had certainly not expected the lifestyle to suit me so well.
Although nobody can blame people for capitalising on tourism- Amsterdam recieves well over a million visitors a year- of what I have explored, I prefer the quieter streets. Almost as soon as you leave Rembrant- or Leidsplein the city returns to normality in wonderful ways. There are wonderful little stores dotted thoughout the city but the largest concentration of those is of course the Jordaan. Rent control has allowed speciality shops, bakers and (my favourite) Broodjes to remain in their original buildings. Some even have their original 'picture numbering' system- businesses and rich had a decorative brick laid in the front or side of a building to depict their heritage. Not only businesses but residents have benefitted from low rents which I believe is one of the key promoters of Amsterdam's "village" feel.
Though I am biased because the love of my life happens to be Dutch, I really did fall in love with the people. They are so accomodating and hospitable. I love how people really value their freedom without abusing it. Very few Dutch smoke marijuana on a regualr basis. Another woderful trait is the value placed on family. Every Dutch home has a calendar specifically devoted to remembering family birthdays!
I could go on and on and on about this unique city, it's relaxed people and the vibrant nightlife... but I think you should see it for yourself!