Amsterdam Day 1

We arrived in Amsterdam last Wednesday and after a short nap in our hotel, we headed out to explore. I was able to pick up Rick Steeves' Guide to Amsterdam before we left and I'm so glad I did. He really has the best walking tours! The first walking tour took us through the Central area of Amsterdam. This picture below is taken in the courtyard of Begihnhof. These houses have sheltered women since 1346. These women removed themselves from the world at large to dedicate their lives to God.

DSC03799Our walking tour also pointed out some very interesting shops in Amsterdam. They are called Smart Shops. I'm not sure why they are called this, who knows? These stores sell drugs....and no we aren't talking advil here.

DSC03803Here's a peek inside the display window. According to the card, the mushrooms on the left give you a medium strong visual trip. One of the mushrooms even advertised that you would get a trip to space. Um, no thank you!

DSC03807This wasn't part of the walking tour but Normer and I were quite mesmerized by it. I guess they have things like this here in the states but wow, you can put in a coin and get out a warm burger! Wow!

DSC03809After our walking tour we found a place that rents paddle boats. There are many beautiful canals all through Amsterdam and we figured this would be a great way to view the city. And after about 4 hours of walking, it sure felt good to sit down!

DSC03818Normer accused me of not pulling my weight in the paddle boat. It's not true, Normer, not true.

DSC03823So beautiful- we went under so many bridges!

DSC03833After our hour long boat ride, we decided to head up to the Red Light District and do a walking tour there. This is not the area that you want to be out in at night. Unless you want to see a lot of prostitutes. We went during the early afternoon  and checked out this area nicknamed "Little Venice".

DSC03846The interesting thing about Amsterdam is that it is built on reclaimed land from the sea. The Dutch built dikes and built up their beaches to keep the water back. Then the dammed up a river and created all of these canals that you see today in Amsterdam. Since all of the buildings are built on a sandbar pretty much, they have wooden pilings underneath them that go down hundreds of feet. Some of the buildings are not starting to lean because the wooden pilings have shifted. If you look closely you can see that this brick building with the shutters is leaning over towards the street. Pretty crazy!

DSC03848More Amsterdam coming up next!


  1. Wow - this may be the coolest place you've blogged about yet to me just because it's so different! The architecture looks amazing, and I love cities built on the sea (like San Francisco!).

    Smart Shops, eh? Very interesting...

  2. Love your pictures Stacee! Did you do the Anne Frank house? Please tell me you did the Anne Frank house!


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