Sunday, December 09, 2007



Some name Amsterdam "The Venice of the North". I think it’s a bit unjust, as Amsterdam is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe and does have its own personality, without needing the reference to Venice to affirm its own credentials. Amsterdam’s canals, lined by beautiful mansions and old trees, divide the city into ninety small islands, linked together by more than a thousands bridges. This post is dedicated to a stroll around Amsterdam's canals!

"SINGELGRACHT, near the Rijksmuseum – The Singelgracht became the outer limit of the city of Amsterdam during the Dutch Golden Age in the 17th Century. The glass-topped barges offer one-hour canal tours around town"

"SINGELGRACHT – American Hotel and Holland Casino International"

"SINGELGRACHT - Hard Rock Café; of course, there is one in Amsterdam! By the water"

"AMSTEL - According to Wikipedia, Amsterdam took its name from the Amstel river. The city developed out of a small fishing village called «Amstelredam», built in the 13th century alongside a dam at the mouth of the river, and was granted city rights around 1300. The Amstel Intercontinental Hotel is one of the best places to stay!"

"MAGERE BRUG (The Skinny Bridge), built around 1670, is a wooden bridge that connects the banks of the Amstel river at Kerkstraat, between Keizersgracht and Prinsengracht"

"PRINSENGRACHT, with houseboats"

"PRINSENGRACHT, with beautiful houses"

"THE STOPERA houses both the city hall of Amsterdam and the Muziektheater, home to De Nederlandse Opera, Het Nationale Ballet, and the Holland Symfonia. The curved front façade of the theatre faces the Amstel River and encloses the 14 metre high open foyers. The exterior of the theatre is built of Friesian red bricks, partly clad in Carrara marble"

"HERENGRACHT (The Gentlemen's Canal) is the first of the three major canals in Amsterdam's city centre. This is the interesting bridge next to the Amstel River"

"HERENGRACHT also has some of the most beautiful mansions in Amsterdam's city centre"

"THE NETHERLANDS MARITIME MUSEUM, housed in the National Naval Depot, which is a former arsenal of the Dutch Navy, brings you back to the past times of the Golden Age and of the Dutch East India Company (VOC)"

"OUDEZIJDS VOORBURGWAAL (what an incredible name) is in the heart of the red-light district, but also has some typical Amsterdam town mansions built for wealthy merchants. The upper floors of the mansions were used as storage space for commodities, which were hoisted up and pulled inside"

"SPIEGELGRACHT – It seems that around the corner is the antiques boulevard of Amsterdam, and though it covers only a 4-block stretch, it's said to be one of Europe's finest antiques hunting grounds. At one end is the Rijksmuseum; at the other is Herengracht's Golden Bend, where Amsterdam's wealthiest burghers once lived in magnificent mansions that have been turned over to banks and embassies. Among the items you might see are old dolls, rare editions, Indonesian puppets, Persian tapestries, landscape paintings, candlesticks, music boxes, old Dutch clocks, and, of course, the little spiegels, or mirrors, that give its name to the canal"

"BLOEMENGRACHT, quite close to Anne Frank's house - now a museum - is one of the smaller canals, which is especially pleasant"

"HOUSEBOAT at night"


b.c. said...

Fantastic photos--I have never been to Amsterdam but have been wanting to go since I really must find the time for a trip after seeing your great photos!

Beefybob7 said...

Hi Gil,

Excellent photos. Brings back memories. Red lights. Only joking.

Have many Nederlander friends. Can get to Scotland without going through Heathrow. So I think you have made my mind up for next trip.


lyliane six said...

Nous avons fait les mêmes photos, il faut que je les retrouvent, mais quel travail!, scanner toutes ces années de souvenirs. Merci pour la précision sur les photos de mon blog, mais avec le temps qui passe je ne me rappelle plus le nom des endroits visités, mais au Portugal c'était la première fois, mais trop court,il faut que j'y revienne, comme à Madère d'ailleurs, car je suis "tombée en amour avec votre pays". Bises à vous 2.

Marie said...

How lucky you are to visit so many beautiful places ! Stunning.

freefalling said...

Hey Gil - I thought of you this weekend when I planted my Lisbon Lemon tree.

Looking at the 7th photo, where all the cars are parked along the canal, I wonder how many of them accidentally end up driving into the water?

I've got a bit of thing for houseboats (on my list of things to do before I die), so it was great to see them all lined up there.

dot said...

What a beautiful city it is!

S-V-H said...

It's just a fantastic city! Every time you visit it, every time you swear to be back soon...!

And since I have Dutch roots (my hubby is Dutch) I have anyway more great reason to come back. :-)

Thanks for commenting on my blog, Gil!

Chica, Cienna, and Cali said...

you brought some of the happiest memories back for me ....:)

lyliane six said...

J'ai corrigé mon post sur Lisbonne. Merci

Anonymous said...

Ah, the canals and sky, and those lovely unmistakably Amsterdamian buildings.

lv2scpbk said...

Wonderful water photos. Nice way to get around instead of sitting in traffic. My computer is up and running again.

Dalicia said...

nice shots!! i was in amsterdam for 3 nights

Rowena said...

As of yet, I still need to make a visit to Amsterdam (and a return to Portugal!), but what impresses me the most is the amount of places that you've been! Great idea for the map at the bottom of the page. Absolutely incredible. :-)

Nikon said...

Beautiful shots, Gil. It looks like a fabulous city. I like your "dusky" shots, late in the day ones.
Sorry Hem is being difficult lately :-)

Tawnya Shields said...

Phenomenal pictures and tons of great info! Makes me want to visit:o)

Joy said...

You definitely have captured this part of Amsterdam really well.

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leo said...

Gil, you took the best..est photos! These pics are incredibly stunning. Seen some amsterdam photos courtesy of hubby who went there for work before but these scenes are like painting. TQ.

Ash said...

What a lovely place!

Anonymous said...

WoW...some very beautifully captured shots & the descriptions!

Pijush said...

I also took this drive, and its infact one of the memorable boat trip for me. Nice post with some wonderful photos Gil, keep posting.

Dick said...

The photo showing a bridge and blue boat is like a painting, I love the sky in it.

roentarre said...

This is definitely on my must see list!!

99 said...

My favorites are the photos of the HERENGRACHT Canal with the impressionist skies. No wonder great painters had come from that city.
Enjoy your week and thanks for passing by my blog.

Thistlemoon said...

Amsterdam sure does look beautiful! When I lived in Norway one of my closest friends was from Amsterdam and I have always wanted to go, especially during tulip season!

Lakshmi said...

So much of water and so beautiful..the pics look so dreamy ..thanks for sharing
when is the tulip season ?

Ming the Merciless said...

Amazing photos. I have never been to Amsterdam and it is definitely on my list of places to visit soon.

NYTimes has a story of The 53 Places to Visit in 2008.

You, being the world traveler, I'm curious how many of these places have you been to?

Nihal said...

Hi Gil,
I've been to every inch of the Netherlands. Circa 42,000 kmetres sq for the area size, 17 mn total population (compare w/Istanbul pp that's nearly the same:) You see incredibly small country and water percentage ~ 18-20%.
Yeap, some name Amsterdam "The Venice of the North". But I am not agree because Venice is Venice. Unique one, and I never meet any city/place similar and gorgeous like Venice till today. Amo io la Venezia come sempre:)

Porto plays very good football not only last eve but every time in accordance to my 'poor' football tracks -I do not like football exceptional UEFA and world cups:) and scored two goals, bravo for you Portugal:) I'm not disappointed because Besiktas was not good at the match -as always;) My favorite team in Turkey is Galatasaray, better than Besiktas.

Oh not a drinker coffee, is it? How do you manage to stay awake, lol;) If or when you happen to drink a cup of coffee then remember Turkey, as it is an indispensable gift to you all:)

Anonymous said...

I just loved Amsterdam.... so unique.

Nihal said...

Here's another 'very good' football news;)

Fenerbahce: 3:)
CSKA: 1:((

Did you watch the match F/Bahce vs CSKA yesterday eve?

Another good team in Turkish football is Fenerbahce, plus Galatasaray. Resulted perfectly! Fenerbahce wins to reach Champions League in the last 16 of the Champions with a 3-1 score over already eliminated CSKA Moscow:) Oleeeyyyy!
My personal thinking, F/Bahce deserved the victory yesterday's match and retained its control even during difficult moments and got the win:)

Drawing for the matches to be scheduled on Dec 21st. Get ready, here we come;)

Peter said...

I was off for a week and you have posted twice, with a tremendous lot of stuff! Have been to Amsterdam several times, but I obviously still have a lot of things to see. Plan to go back early next year, so this will be a good guide!

Lara said...

a great city indeed!

lyliane six said...

Je n'aurai pas la chance de vous voir ce week end en Normandie,PHO, HPY, CERGIE et moi même penserons bien à vous. Bonne fin de semaine.

Jo's-D-Eyes said...

THANK YOU!!!!! Gil,
For showing so very well my DUTCH capital city AMSTERDAM! Wow! I lived at the Amstel, and worked on the HERENGRACHT, yes you made this woderfull photo's of my beloved city AMSTERDAM! This is where I walked daily and I still do at my weekend trips, I ate last week in Amsterdam, just 15 minutes from my home...

Have a laugh, Come and look at my blog and see my serie's of CREATIVE alternative christmas decoration. Have a great weekend!

JoAnn greetings,

Z said...

I love the houseboats, wouldn't mind spending a summer in one of them!

Thank you for your visits to and comments on my Villigen blog.

Dsole said...

THat's really great we're still in Amsterdam! You're right about comparission, we say in spanish "las comparaciones son odiosas" and that's true because each city has its own spirit, and Amsterdam is very special, don't you think?
Have a great day my friend! :)

lyliane six said...

Vous devez être partis faire un grand voyage, ou bien il y a beaucoup de travail avant les fêtes.J'espère que je pourrai vous souhaiter de bonnes fêtes de fin d'année avant de partir dimanche.

Anonymous said...

Hi Everybody. Thanks for your visits and comments. They’re always much appreciated. I’m sorry I couldn’t reply earlier, but my last weeks were awful: an urgent matter to deal up to December 24th; a professional trip from 13 through 16 December, and now another urgency to be dealt with on the 26th through 28th, and then January 3rd up to January 14th… Anyhow, let’s forget this and I wish you all a great holiday season!

You should put Amsterdam in your top list!

There you found a nice pretext to go through Amsterdam… and join Bolscocktails to Whisky! ;))

Je suis très heureux de te voir tomber amoureuse du Portugal; ça veut dire qu’on te verra ici plusieurs fois, j’en suis sûr! Merci d’avoir pensé à nous pendant le weekend à Normandie. En fait, j’ai eu des urgences à régler et, en plus, on a dû partir en Tunisie; alors, ce n’a pas été possible et je regrette n’avoir pas pu vous joindre pour l’anniversaire… Mais, même en retard, félicitations! Bises.

Lucky? It’s always the story of the wineglass: half full or half empty? Still so many places I’ve never been to… ;-(

Letitia (Freefalling),
Lisbon lemon tree: did you know that «the Lisbon Lemon tree originated in the very cold snow-covered Himalayas and were being grown and cultivated in Palestine during the first century, where the lemon and the lemon tree were exported to Rome»? Great Google!
You’re right about cars falling into canals; I read once that every week a car falls into the canals, but it’s probably exaggerated…

It’s time to get there!

Thanks. Being a fan of the Conch Republic, I adore your Key West pictures!
You have every reason to get back to Amsterdam asap! ;))

I’m always happy to bring back good memories…

I’m glad you enjoyed!

Glad that your computer is running again and thanks for visiting and commenting!

Three nights are a bit short; don’t you want to get back? ;-)

Your return to Lisbon will be much welcomed! Drop a line when it happens!
The map is a bit misleading because it shows countries visited; so if I manage to get, for instance, to Delhi, whole India will be coloured. Anyhow, it’s not bad; but I always feel that there is still too much left… ;((

Paul, (Nikon)
Thanks. I also like those “dusky” pictures…

Titania Starlight,
Take the plane…

Thanks! However, it’s the city that deserves most of the credits… ;))

That picture is also one of my favourites, and I had the «feeling» when I took it…

Good choice!

Herengracht is stunning; and unbeatable when the light helps!
It’s always a pleasure reading your texts at 99!

Amsterdam is wonderful in all seasons, but if you want to see the bulb fields blossoming, book your trip for the end of next April and you may even get to see the Bollenstreek Flower Parade…

Good choice to put Amsterdam on the top list!
I checked the Times site and found out that I’ve actually been to 30 of those 53 places, and in fact close to 8 more of them; as you see it’s not such a small world, and there is always much more to see than what you’ve seen…
Interesting was to find out that Lisbon comes in nr. 2 of the list. It definitely deserves a trip, and you would make a great choice to start your next European tour by flying NYC-Lisbon!

Agree: Venice is Venice, and Amsterdam is Amsterdam!
F.C.Porto is doing well, except last night for the Portuguese Championship – first time defeated this year; I think they were already thinking of the holiday season, rather than playing as they should…
Fenerbahce has a site in Portuguese language. No wonder; with so many Brazilians playing there… But FCP is not going to meet F/Bahce…

Good taste, it’s what you have!

Hope you had a great time in Sweden. With a 4h11m Thalys train trip from Paris to Amsterdam, you’re on the road…

Thanks for your visits and comments!

Don’t mention! It’s always a pleasure strolling around Amsterdam! You are the lucky one to be so close… ;)
Have enjoyed seeing your X-mas decorations and the other recent posts at your blob!

Thanks. Some of those houseboats are stunning!

«Las comparaciones son odiosas»; you’re quite right!

alicesg said...

Amsterdam is really a beautiful place. Thanks to your blog, I get to see many beautiful places. Hope you have an enjoyable christmas celebration with your family and friends.

Anonymous said...

Alice SG,
Thanks. You're right about Amsterdam: a beautiful place to stroll around...
Hope you have a great 2008!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for some really splendid photographs! I've added a link to your thread from our travel community at trivago as I'm certain that visitors to our Amsterdam pages would find it just as interesting as I. Keep up the good work!
Greetings from Cape Town,

GMG said...

Thanks for the link. I'll check your pages, hopefully next weekend...