Amsterdam, the Netherlands

A tale of two Amsterdams.

Strolling down Damrak from Amsterdam Centraal on my first trip to the European capital of debauchery and the city was not initially what I expected.

Walking around De Wallen, Amsterdam’s largest and most famous red light district, at night felt uncomfortable. Not because of what it is but because of what it attracts. It seems to attract two types of people (excluding the punters, who probably keep a lower profile). Firstly, the curious tourists; couples and small groups. Secondly, the worst kind of tourists. In this case it’s the obnoxious, loud-mouthed, tanked up guys, some of whom can’t contain a giggle at the sight of flesh, who make this area seem like the Northern European Costa del Sol. The kind of tourists everyone wants to avoid.

Outside the very centre of the city, around the canals and Jordaan, Amsterdam seems far more relaxed, if quite ‘same-y’ in a picturesque way, and lives up to the charm its reputation sets. It feels like an entirely different city. A bit further south around Vondelpark and the museum district is more laid back still.

My time in Amsterdam was cut short by a day because of a hotel screw up (my fault) so I moved on to The Hague for a bit.The reputation of Amsterdam and what it offers means if you’re there for that kind of weekend then you’ll probably have a blast.

The Bridge of 15 Bridges

When I walked by the bridge there was a canal boat passing. It looked like the perfect spot for a long exposure to capture some light trails.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Amsterdam by day

Amsterdam by night

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