I AmSterDam: The Netherlands

I’d be lying if I say I didn’t want to go and visit Amsterdam. My yearning to see this city intensified when I was reading the book “The Fault in Our Stars”. Three years after I have read the book and watched the movie, who would’ve thought that I’ll be living yet another dream, and that is to see Amsterdam up-close and personal.

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Amsterdam is regarded as The Netherlands largest city, and perhaps, the most popular as well. Prior to my trip, I had to research more about this city. I am pretty surprised to know that it has a lot of monikers aside from being well-known as the City of Canals.

So here are the titles given to Amsterdam that I myself was able to validate that indeed, the city deserves to be called such:

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Amsterdam as the City of Canals. Some would even call it as the Venice of the North. But since I haven’t been to Venice, that I cannot really verify. But it is so true that it has so many canals – clean ones! It is said that there are more than 100 kilometers of canals, and around 1,500 bridges within the city.

Amsterdam as The City of Bicycles. Well most of the key cities I have visited in Europe are bicycle-friendly but I guess nothing beats Amsterdam. While walking around the city on foot, it felt like there are more bicycles than people! Bicycles are literally everywhere. Well, I like it. Bike paths, bike racks, and bike storage garages are all-over as well. Who wouldn’t love these means of moving around – they’re fast and environmental friendly.

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Amsterdam as The City of Arts and Culture. One thing I have noticed during my stay in Amsterdam is that museums abound the city. They are everywhere – from Anne Frank’s House to the Van Gogh museum to the Rijksmuseum(Dutch art) and those that are located on the Museumplein (Museum Square). I guess the following are also part of the flourishing culture of Netherlands – the Redlight district parties, the Gay Pride, and even the Cannabis Cup.

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Amsterdam as The City of Architecture. My CS host and I were walking around the city when from time to time he would show off and tell stories about some of Amsterdam’s buildings. I can sense that he was really proud of the architectural designs of the buildings. Well, I could just agree as they are really lovely and interesting. I find the designs to be a combination of the 17th century and the contemporary style.


Amsterdam as The City for Shoppers. The city offers an array of shops from flowers (think tulips) to various kinds of souvenir shops, fashionable clothes, chocolate shops, and even sex shops. I was fortunate to have stayed at a place right in the middle of these shops.

Amsterdam: The City of Cannabis Coffee and Cake Shops. I have learned during my stay that coffee-shops cannabis use is tolerated by the local authorities (but of course in small amount). I also got to try a vanilla flavored cannabis cake.

So there… I hope these reasons be enough for you to consider coming to Amsterdam soon. Don’t be a wasted soul, be Juanderlust. Take it easy everyJuan.

 

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