Over 1000 bridges and 100 Km of canals. As Wikipedia so eloquently just told me, Amsterdam really is Venice of the north - though I'll try and make a better comparison when we're actually in Venice :-)
It was a whirlwind day, where we easily walked over 10 Km, and saw a lot of the city via a hop on/hop off bus tour. We also enjoyed a canal tour - some buildings and parts of the canal dating back 500 years. The architecture is incredible, and it is quite remarkable how well it all seems to have stood up through all the chaos that has come through this region.
There was also time just to sit in Dam square and take in the coming gong show that will be Queens day tomorrow. We've heard estimates in the neighborhood of 1 million people will descend on downtown Amsterdam for the celebration. It even spills over somewhat into tonight, however your two brave and jet lagged travelers have purchased a bottle of wine and are fighting over who looked better - Kate or Pippa. This is in preparation to dive head first into the culture and festivities that will be all Amsterdam has to offer tomorrow.
Dam square is usually a wide open area filled with pigeons and photograph-taking travelers. Currently, it's home to a Fair that boasts several very high-flying rides, including a ferris wheel. Jill and I took in the view from the top of the ferris wheel and got some great pictures, albeit only using one hand on the camera. Our other hands were firmly gripped to whatever we could hold onto. One wonders what possesses two people with a fear of heights to put themselves through that...
Oh, and Jill's favourite fact of the day - 3 cars per week drive off the road into the canals. We don't really know how they get there, or how they get out, but... We'll keep an eye out for any half submerged smart cars.
And yes, last night we tool a stroll through the famed red light district. My favourite part? Just watching the expressions on Jill's face as we walk by yet another scantily clad woman. It was an interesting experience, but I much more enjoyed the beer we had at the bar down the road.
And as a quick side note - Thank you to all that recommend the baked goods in the coffee shops. The slice of cake I had was moist and delicious. Must be some kind of secret ingredient they have here in Amsterdam.
We hear that there's been some crazy weather back home, and we hope you and yours are all safe and sound. Today was a bright and beautiful 21, with more of the same expected tomorrow.
My wine was delicious. Thanks for reading, and good night all!