A brief pause to acknowledge the rather long, rather unintentional blog break that happened over here.
We moved to Amsterdam since my last post, and last month, while my parents were visiting, we got to know our new city a little better with our own Amsterdam canal tour. We hired a boat from Mokum, so got to cruise wherever we wanted to go. It was my first time on the canals, and it was interesting the perspective shift that took place – viewing the water on an Amsterdam map as a route, rather than as the spaces in between.
The first time I was in Amsterdam, I came away with an overwhelming impression of grey brick – all of the city felt a bit samey. I have a better appreciation for it now, even if cycling on the canal ring doesn’t allow for much looking up. Much better to be on the water, and in a max-7.5 kph boat, to get an unimpeded view of Amsterdam architecture. And oh, it is pretty.
That water is murky, though. Once we hit Nieuwmarkt we were surrounded by all the floating rubbish, bobbing along the canals. People are such pigs.
Being our own guides meant we had no commentary of any of what we saw. But we were free to choose our own way, which mostly Matt did in his role as both captain and helmsman. We detoured off the Amstel to go past the university and the zoo, before hitting the canal ring and inner-city Amsterdam.
I provided the snacks: early-in-the-season kruidnoten and a hastily-assembled assortment from our kitchen cupboards. It is possible to moor at any of the bars and restaurants that have canal access, but we – aside from one toilet break – stayed in our boat the whole time. We instead ate sandwiches post cruise at Weesper, which was on the corner of our drop-off point.
This last photo was taken by my mum, and features my now departed Mango sunglasses. If only I hadn’t thrown out my Venetian captain’s hat in the last-minute fluster that was packing. There has never been a more appropriate time to have worn it.
Matt has said that he now has a better understanding and orientation in Amsterdam, since our boat trip. The same, unfortunately, cannot be said for me, and I’m as clueless with directions as I ever was.