I really don't care if I ever see Paris again, but Amsterdam?
It's now my favorite foreign city.
Maybe it's because I had no expectations but now that I've been there I understand why Baby Brother and his partner are in love with it.
Across this canal is the house where Anne Frank and her family hid from the Nazi's. We were only in Amsterdam for one day so I didn't have a chance to visit. If I ever get back there again, I will.
Finding affordable homes on the canals in Amsterdam is just about as easy as finding affordable homes on any waterfront. Meaning not easy at all.
Baby Brother has some friends, who, after 2o years of living there, finally bought a home this year.
Now look closely between the buildings. That is an apartment! Can you believe it? Someone was able to construct a living space there.
I kept wondering what seemed so different about the houses that I saw in Amsterdam (except for the fact that they are almost all 4 stories high). And then it hit me; everyone's windows are spotless and gleam in the light. No one uses screens, and windows in Europe open inward for easy cleaning.
A little crooked house right out of a Dr. Seuss book.
Baby Brother says the houses are inspected yearly so we're not to worry about it toppling over anytime soon.
Because houses were taxed on how many feet of frontage they occupied on the canals, people built their houses narrow yet deep.
This is on the back street of one of the canal houses.
Look at the big speaker on the back of the bike. These musicians will stop, play music, collect tips, and move on.
While I was there the canals were very busy. See the big boat in the background? It's a live-aboard and spends all of its time tethered to the wall. There are tons of boats like this.
I guess you can't live any closer to the water than that.
Here's a funny note.
We were in a 'coffee house' where everyone was smoking pot etc... and I had to laugh when I saw a man get up and go outside to smoke a cigarette.
Because there in the land of legalized drugs, cigarettes are banned from being smoked indoors!