Part 2 – Canals
Canals are an ever present part of life in the Netherlands. Amsterdam in particular is known for them. It’s one of the coziest, most charming cities that I’ve visited in Europe so far. You can’t get two blocks without crossing a bridge. Unlike Venice, which has it’s own charms, Amsterdam is a living vibrant city that doesn’t feel like its sole existence is tourism.
According to Wikipedia: Amsterdam, capital of the Netherlands, has more than one hundred kilometers of canals, about 90 islands and 1,500 bridges. The three main canals, Herengracht, Prinsengracht, and Keizersgracht, dug in the 17th century during the Dutch Golden Age, form concentric belts around the city, known as the Grachtengordel. Alongside the main canals are 1,550 monumental buildings. The 17th-century canal ring area, including the Prinsengracht, Keizersgracht, Herengracht and Jordaan, were placed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2010, contributing to Amsterdam’s fame as the “Venice of the North“.
Here are just a few shots of the waterways of this gem of the Netherlands.
While planning a recent trip to Europe, I thought I’d try out Iceland Air. They have decent prices and a not terribly inconvenient layover to break up a long flight. That layover is really short so make sure you have long enough between flights in case the first flight leaves late. They will eventually get you to your destination (via another airline if theirs are not available) but it can be tricky. I am speaking from second-hand experience.
It feels like a giant ad for visiting Iceland, and I must say there are worse ad campaigns out there. The country looks breathtaking and some day I’d like to do a longer layover (a few days) to take in the exotic beauty of this country.
For now, a view from the air will have to do.
The quality isn’t great through an airplane window, but here’s the obligatory wing shot with emblem. The sun was just rising over Iceland which made for some nice color in the sky.
Little villages dotted the land. What struck me was the vast open space.
I’ve never seen country like this, and look forward to exploring.
On to the Netherlands…
Holland is an amazing country. They are an innovative people, they reclaimed a good portion of their current land from the surrounding seas after all! Next post will showcase the beauty and humor of the Dutch and Amsterdam.