I have always wanted to visit
Europe. Truth be told the continent has always fascinated me. And even for the
reluctant traveler in me, Europe has been right up there in my must visit list,
and it still is. Opportunity
presented itself in the form of a work assignment for S in Germany this year
and I grabbed it with both hands. I followed him there within 2 months of his
posting and we traveled, whenever possible, to tick places of interest off my wish
was one, which I must admit, we almost missed out on due
to dollops of lethargy that we have in abundance as a couple. But fortunately better
sense prevailed and we hopped on an ICE that whizzed us away to the Venice of the North.
Beautiful. Mesmerizing. Magical. I
don’t really know what adjectives I need to use to describe it. All I can say
is that as we walked through the streets and cruised through the canals we fell
in love with the city.
The first thing we did after
reaching Amsterdam was a cruise through the canals. Tulips everywhere, it was
the end of April and I loved it. As the boat maneuvered through waterways
lined with boathouses, I couldn't help but wish to live in one. We
were there only for a day with our return tickets booked for that very night. So with
no time to spare we set off on our journey to discover Amsterdam.
We squeezed in Van Gogh Museum,
Rijksmuseum, Anne Frank House, Rembrandt House Museum, and the Red Light
District, Heineken Experience, Science Centre NEMO
and toured the streets lined
with beautiful houses and canals in one day. Not too bad I must say. Of-course,
we missed out on Keukenhof,
disappointing. But then there’s always a next time, right?
I think, for me, Amsterdam was all about its waterways. The canal cruises to be specific. At
one point I remember the boat facing a number of bridges, all in a single line.
It was as if the bridges aligned, all together in a queue, to greet the
tourists. If I remember correctly we had taken the Blue Boat tours just after
reaching since it was raining. This was the perfect way to begin, see the
highlights, even those we wouldn't have time for later on in the day. It helped
us gain some perspective about the city, especially since we were there just
for a day. It helped us see every tourist attraction on the map at a glance and
then decide how to go about exploring the city for the rest of the day.
Given a chance I’d go there again. There’s
something alluring about Amsterdam that stays with you for a long, long time.
And I must say, if you have the chance, do go and explore this beautiful
European gem of a city. Trust me it will be truly worth it because for me it