Wednesday, September 4, 2013

When the Sun Shines on Amsterdam. . .

Flight connections between Europe and Seattle prompted a couple of brief overnight stays in Amsterdam in recent years. Based on those brief introductory stops we deemed it a rainy, but an interesting -- if somewhat pricey – place, well worth a longer visit.

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So, we scheduled ourselves a long weekend in this city laced with some 165 canals and linked by 1,281 bridges, on our return from Greece last spring.

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What we found was that when the sun shines (as it did periodically during our stay) Amsterdam sheds its dark gray rain coat, and  comes to life with a a colorful vibrancy! Let us take you on a tour:








Green:


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Amsterdam2013 025Rain or shine, we could spend hours watching the canal boats ply the waters that make up this city’s transportation system.

The boat, pictured above, painted in the color of its famous Heineken beer cans and bottles, caused many heads to turn as it glided past.






Blue


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Although the canals get all the tourist photos, I must say that the city’s electric-powered blue and white trams should be getting equal billing.  They are sleek, modern and so quiet that you must stay on guard for them as they can slide up behind you without much notice. . .well, other than a ding of their bells.

While we did our explorations on foot, we were tempted to hop aboard and take a ‘tram tour’ of the town.  There are 16 lines in and around the city center and they always travel on the right hand track.  Most pass near Dam Square (in the heart of the old town) before terminating at the Central Train Station. 


Red
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Amsterdam2013 061There are more than 8,000 buildings that date from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. . .enough to keep sightseers and shutterbugs entertained for hours.  Their shapes and sizes are simply remarkable.














White

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If the architectural design isn’t enough  on the buildings, then the signage should catch  your eye.  I’ll be showing you more of the art we discovered as we wound our way past the more than 6,000 shops that operate in the city in a future post.







Yellow


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Amsterdam2013 027Okay, you knew I couldn’t do it.  How could anyone be in Amsterdam in the spring time and not take a photo of tulips?
We’d lucked out because the tulips were late bloomers this year so we actually caught them still in bloom . Of course with more than 600,000 bulbs in parks and public gardens here, it would have been difficult to miss them.





That is it for Travel Photo Thursday.  Head over to Budget Travelers Sandbox for some more armchair travels today. Or to The Tablescraper on Friday for "Oh, the Places I have been"But before you do, I must thank Francesca at Postcard Pictures for tapping us to participate in this year’s Capture the Colour Contest sponsored by Travel Supermarket.  This post is our entry.

And now it is my turn to tap five other bloggers, inviting them to participate as well. So here I go:

Poppy at PoppyView, who’s created a wonderful blog set in Crete.

Krista at Rambling Tart who illuminates Australia (and other wonderful places) in her blog.

Helen at Helen Tilston Painter who’s introduced us to the wonders of  art and travel.

Inka at GlamourGrannyTravels who has brought Turkey and Spain to life in recent years.

Nancie at Budget Travelers Sandbox who writes from South Korea – the hostess of  
Travel Photo Thursday

34 comments:

  1. Beautiful photos, love Amsterdam too...

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    1. The city is a charmer, that simply gets better with each visit!

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  2. great contribution all from one city, I loved it...I did my capture the color last week and it was a lot of fun!

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    1. Thanks much Noel, I enjoyed your contribution post - it should be a winner!

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  3. Wonderful shots of the city. Vibrant and colorful.

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    1. Thanks much for stopping by today - hope you'll return often!

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    1. There is so much there to love that I can't imagine anyone but the most hardened of travelers not loving it. Thanks for stopping by Brittany.

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  5. Tulips and Amsterdam do go together. I was working as a groom near Amsterdam way back when, and I loved the city, but I bet it's changed a lot since then. Now I get my fix of tulips at a little south west Australian country town called Nannup - in our springtime! Thanks for sharing some gorgeous photos.

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    1. We are getting excited about heading your way next month, well, at least to Sydney, but you have to start somewhere don't you? Thanks for stopping by today!

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  6. I agree, Jackie, no matter what else you do in Amsterdam, you've got to do tulips. They're such happy flowers!
    I like that Heineken-green boat. Very pretty.

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    1. Yes, the tulips of spring certainly made the city more colorful than the brown bulbs they sell the rest of the year.

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  7. I would love to see the tulips in Amsterdam one spring! I've often drool over people's photos of fields of tulips. I would love those old buildings too.

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    1. You would love those tulips Rebecca - the flower beds are full of them! And those buildings. . .what a backdrop1 Thanks much for stopping by today!

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  8. So beautiful, Jackie. :-) I was able to live in Amsterdam with my brother for three months before I moved to Australia. How I loved it. :-) Your pictures brought back wonderful memories. :-)

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    1. Oh Krista, what a fabulous experience to live - for whatever amount of time - in Amsterdam. I bet you have some incredible photos from there! Hope you participate in the Colour Contest - your photos are sure winners!

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  9. Brilliant colours, Jackie! You see how just a little hint of sunshine can make a whole lot of difference in how we perceive life around us, whether it be buildings, nature, or human smiles!

    Poppy

    PS: Thanks for tapping me re: the contest. Will definitely check it out!

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    1. That sun is one reason we adore Greece. While we've experienced rain there as well, it doesn't linger for months as it does here. You are o right about the sun. Good luck in the contest!

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  10. Hello there, you've reminded me of a lovely romantic weekend spent in Amsterdam with my beloved... far too long ago now. Thank you!!

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    1. Seana, thanks so much for your visit today. Hope you'll be able to have another visit to Amsterdam in the not too distant future!

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  11. Looks like you picked absolutely perfect weather! Made me want to go!
    Irene

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    1. Glad I sparked the travel bug itch in you, Irene. Thanks for stopping by!

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  12. I like how you got all the colors in there, Jackie. I admit the canal boat tours would definitely be high on my priority list. Totally sincere, did they serve Heineken on that one boat??

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    1. I suspect they did Mike - didn't get close enough to know for sure! :-)

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  13. I love your take on Capture the Color with Amsterdam, Jackie. I've only been to Amsterdam once during a long layover in late November where it was overcast one day and light snow on another day. I've always told my husband I need to see it in the Spring to fully appreciate the city. This post inspires me to go back on a sunny day with tulips abound. No tulips or windmills during our visit too.

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    1. Mary, Our first two overnights were just like you described and I thought 'too much like Seattle' but the longer stay in the spring convinced me that it is like Seattle, but Seattle, too, can be beautiful in the sunlight!

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  14. These are beautiful photos. Taking a long layover is such a good idea for squeezing in some extra travel experiences. You are so fortunate to see all those tulips.

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    1. Thanks for visiting Michele - have a great weekend (hopefully full of travel adventures).

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  15. Hi Jackie! First, thanks so much for nominating me for the Capture the Color Contest. :)

    I was in Amsterdam when I was 20, and I still remember how much fun we had. It's a city I have always wanted to go back to.Love the flower shot. It shouts AMSTERDAM :)

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    1. You are welcome for the tap! Yes, tulips and canal boats are Amsterdam in my book!

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  16. My time in Amsterdam was also very brief, but I loved it was very interesting and as you found -- colorful! Love your selections -- the key color jumps right out. It was on and off rainy the day I was there, too. Worked out well for me that I went to the Anne Frank House while it was raining which made the line outside much shorter.

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    1. You were lucky. The morning we went past Anne's house the rain was pouring and the lines wound for blocks. . .yikes! I don't mind the off and on rain, but drenching is another matter (hard to hold a camera and umbrella). Thank for stopping by Cathy!

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  17. Hi Jackie, what a fun capture of colors in this fun city and amazing that you found them within a short glimpse of sunshine. Great job!
    I don't think I'd seen sunshine in Amsterdam. My trips in the in city were always in the fall and winter. Dark or gray, I still felt its vibrant vibe.

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    1. We've also seen Amsterdam in its dark, wet, gray state and I'll take it in the sunshine any day! Thanks for commenting Marisol!

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