Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Venice of the North


With all the lovely bridges and canals, it is easy to understand why people make the comparison between Amsterdam and Venice. However, for me, the bicycles ruin the illusion, because for all the times I have visited Venice, not once have I seen a bicycle. And each city has such distinctive architecture, you could identify the city by the buildings alone, even if there were no canals. The photo above is of a bridge over the Egelanstiergracht, a small canal in the Jordaan about two short blocks north of the Anne Frank Museum, on the opposite side of Prinsengracht Canal. It is noted for its window boxes full of flowers and its tree lined streets.

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Sorry to say, but these two very different canals will have to remain nameless. The photos were taken during our trip in 2003 when my note taking wasn’t as much of the priority it is today. I suppose you could consider the 2nd photo a “back alley” canal since there isn’t even a path on the right side. The contrast between it and the tree lined canal is quite striking and each sets a strong mood all its own.

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One natural parallel between the two cities is the strong boat culture. I would encourage anyone who visits either city to take a boat ride along the canals for a delightful way to get an overall picture of each city. The photo on the left is of the Singelgracht, across from Leidseplein where we found a tour boat landing. On the right is a tour boat, as well as pedal boats that are also available for a more personalized tour.


As I was shopping the Noorderkerk Market, I heard live music coming toward the area, so I scurried over to the canal to take this photo of a band making it’s way down the Prinsengracht Canal. it was not possible to determine if this was an unusual event or something done on a regular basis, but either way I found it charming and was happy to have the experience.

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