A model of tolerance and diversity, the truly international city of Amsterdam welcomes everyone with her uniquely laid back charm. She’s a romantic place of cozy cafes and restaurants, where you can stroll through narrow cobblestone alleys and along miles of picturesque canals.
But she has her seedy side as well. Sex and soft drugs are both sold here openly and legally… and you need not leave the tourist path to flirt with the working girls framed in glowing red… or to catch the wafting fragrance of burning cannabis from dozens of “coffee shops”.
But Amsterdam is more than a destination for sex tourists and “experience” seekers. She is also a place of rich culture and history. Prepare to stand in awe before the works of the Dutch masters and to be humbled and inspired by the life and writings of a young Jewish girl. Not to mention her well-educated, multilingual citizens, who are among the most delightful and engaging people to be found anywhere in the world. Welcome to Amsterdam!
Amsterdam has less than one million people, …
but more than one million bicycles!
International Happy Day!
Dutch beer is among the best in the world.
Salted herring, an acquired taste… but I have no plans for acquiring it! : )
Amsterdam was not always the tolerant and permissive place it is today.
Once upon a time, Christians had to “hide” their faith… or at least not practice it publicly.
Amsterdam has on the order of two hundred “coffee shops”
not to be confused with cafes or coffee houses.
where one can legally purchase and indulge in cannabis and related products.
Although soft drugs are legal, hard drugs most certainly are not.
But that does not mean that addiction to hard drugs is not a problem here.
From the Rijksmuseum… Vincent van Gogh, Self-Portrait (1887)
Gerrit van Honthorst, The Merry Fiddler (1623)
Rembrandt van Rijn, The Syndics (1662)
Anne Frank’s House, a heart-breaking, yet inspiring visit.
She writes: “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before beginning to improve the world.”