Monday, May 13, 2013


Amsterdam---a beautiful city that might offer a few surprises to a West Texas Southern Baptist!   Amsterdam is a beautiful city that was built much like Venice--around canals.   This is very evident when you look at the tall skinny houses that lean in all directions. It is extremely green and plush and I think you could just about grow anything.   Prostitution has been legal here since the 1200's with a red light district just a couple blocks off of the main street. Disclaimer warning --------there is one picture included in today's blog of a "lady" in the window.  We  had to at least walk one block and see what it was like.   That's all it took too!!!!! It is  creepy!!!! Marijuana is legal and "coffee shops" are not exactly coffee shops---they are places that sell many different kinds and varieties of marijuana.    I guess you could say their values are much more liberal than back home.  Even with these liberal attitudes the city felt safe and welcoming with a very young adult population.   Tomorrow we will be taking a tour to see the tulips and the windmills then flying back to London to head to the Cotwolds region of England.  Tune in tomorrow to see pictures of the tulips and windmills.

We caught the train at the airport and rode it into the center of the city.   It  is a very nice and new train system and convenient way to get around.   

We are taking a tour around the canals of the city.   

Because the population grew so quickly back in the 1960's, people could not find housing.  As a result they began building houses out of boats or other structures on the canals. It was quite amazing how many lined the sides of the canals as permanent residences of people.  Some looked like single wide mobile homes floating on the water.  

This boat is someone's permanent home and is connected to city utilities and water.   

Another home on the water, but also notice the crooked houses in the background.   They are called the "dancing houses" by the locals. 

A pretty draw bridge on one of the canals. 

Most of the homes that line the canals were built in the 1600's but are well maintained and very beautiful.   

They were originally built tall and skinny to make them appear larger.   This was done to try to impress people and make them think they were wealthier than they really were.

Most of the homes along the canal had these hoist beams protruding from the front.  They have a metal hook on them.  These were used to lift furniture up to the upper floors because most staircases were to narrow.

More lovely "dancing houses".

Cool car!

This is a bicycle parking garage that has over 10,000 bicycles.   There are over 1 million bicycles in this city-----more bicycles than people.  

Pretty boat on the canal.

"Dancing Houses"

The boat we took the canal tour in. 

"Dancing Houses"

Found the Route 66 Lounge right there in Amsterdam!

One of the ladies of the red light district!

The Royal Castle

This lady had her baby in the carriage at the front of her bicycle.  

Yes this is really as crooked at it appears. 

The flower market.   Store after store of nothing but beautiful bulbs, flowers, and seeds.

Wish I could bring home about a ton of these tulip bulbs.

You have to watch out for people riding bicycles as much as you do cars when crossing the street. 

The Central Train Station---One of the prettiest buildings in the city.

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