Today was a bit of a later start – we had a canal cruise dinner scheduled for 7:30pm so we knew it would be too long of a day to hit the pavement at 9am. This is also the beauty of really diving into one single place for 4 days and not traveling around so much – you can take your time a bit more and have a more relaxed touring schedule.
We decided to pull out another Rick Steves’ audio tour today and did the Amsterdam City Walk. I love these for the knowledge they provide. I learned that there are just over 700,000 inhabitants of Amsterdam and pretty much all of them have bikes – or more than one, even! That is pretty obvious by all the bikes we have seen parked along the streets and the tens of bikers that have nearly killed us zooming by!
During our walking tour, we saw a lot of the south side of the city – the bottom of the “U” shape of the canals, if you will. We passed by a canal lined with tulip markets and passed hundreds of shops and trinket stores. We found an amazing Italian restaurant for a late lunch and our eyes were clearly too big for our stomachs!!! We walked that meal off, winding down the brick lined city streets marveling at the gorgeous architecture and admiring the Amsterdam way of life; an attitude that is straight forward and yet live and let live.
Our canal dinner cruise was absolutely amazing!!!! It has been the highlight of the trip so far and that is saying a lot since we have had an amazing time! The whole experience was about 2.5 hours and for that entire time we gawked at the stunning buildings, took pictures of the festive lights (there is a light exhibit going on on the canals until 19 January) and enjoyed a four course meal, wine, water and coffee. Really, I don’t know how it could’ve been any better!!!
Here are some of my favorite pictures from the day.