I haven’t been to Amsterdam for 20 years, when I was all eyes and ears as a young back packer. And here I am, still all eyes and ears, for a weekend with a great buddy. Amsterdam is an immensely strollable city – small enough to get lost in, gorgeous cafes and bars to pass the time, and a cacophony of sights and sounds for the senses. `And when your feet get sore or your nerves too jangled from avoiding the faster-than-a-speeding-bullet cyclists who own the city, you can just jump on a canal bus and see the city from water’s level. Even in the water it’s more than a slightly mad pace – hundreds of boats – pleasure cruisers, working barges, pedalos, private tubs, sleek little numbers carrying a couple of friends and more than a couple of drinks, even dinghies shaped like yellow clogs (I kid you not), and house boats lining every canal – all seem to mostly avoid collisions as they weave under the low bridges, and while there doesn’t seem much order to it all, it somehow works!
Tomorrow is Kings Day, so all the houseboats have put out buoyant floating barriers, to help prevent damage from the hundred of boats fuelled by fun and the colour orange, who will bump along the canals tomorrow as the town goes mad. Can’t wait!