A Day in Amsterdam
Back in December 2011, I had to travel to the UK on business. I took the opportunity to route my flight through Amsterdam instead of London and I had to pleasure of spending an afternoon in this great European city. I’m finally getting around to posting some of the photos I took during my short stay. I definitely need to go back and spend more time in this city, it was a lot of fun.
Most of the photos here were shot while on a photo tour with Photo Tours of Amsterdam. I booked this tour after reading positive reviews on Trip Advisor. Things didn’t start well as my flight was delayed. Rather than arriving at 8:00am which would have given me plenty of time to get to my hotel then meet my guide at the 1:30pm start time, my flight arrived at 12:30pm. I rushed to the hotel, dropped off my things at the front desk and didn’t even check in. I just grabbed my camera and tripod and jumped in a taxi to head to the meeting spot. There, I met Jonathan who turned out to be a fellow Canadian currently living in the Netherlands and discovered I was the only one on the tour that day. This allowed Jonathan and I to just explore the city and go where wherever we wanted to go. Jonathan was a good photographer, and also knew a lot about the city. I didn’t get a lot of good photographs during the day, it was a gloomy and flat winter day. Things were better at night, and I’m happy I brought my tripod along for some shooting. Overall, Jonathan spent more time than he needed to with me and was a great guide. I learned a lot about the city and brushed up on my skills as well. I would definitely book another tour with this company if I’m in one of the cities where they offer tours.
Some of the photos from that day, it was raining on and off and mostly overcast skies. I love European cites, there is so much more history and culture compared to things in North America. It’s hard not to appreciate the architecture on display everywhere. This is one of the markets many markets we found just walking around.
A three shot HDR, not my best work but I love the buildings here. Also, Amsterdam has a lot of pubs :)
I didn’t process many in black and white, but I likely will as scenes like this lend themselves well to such processing. The canals in Amsterdam are fantastic, and are the reason why it’s sometimes called Venice of the North.
I love graffiti, and there was plenty of it in Amsterdam.
No idea what this is, but it was an interesting courtyard.
The Hermitage. I wish I had time to visit.
Throughout the city you will find a lot of houseboats in the canals. Some are beautiful, or at least interesting. Others are complete trash heaps and detract from an otherwise beautiful city. In another life, I would like to live on the water in one of these boats.
Jonathan told me what these little critters were, but for the life of me I can’t remember.
Youth Hostel, I got a few shots of this, I’m sure it looks great in the spring when the vines are covered in leaves.
Some guys saw me taking photos and started goofing around. The people I met in Amsterdam were friendly and helpful.
Dutch cat, seems content in his bed.
So many of the buildings have interesting details like this. They just don’t build them like they used to.
Jonathan showed me a good spot to practice my panning technique. There is certainly no shortage of subjects zipping by and you don’t need to wait long to see some interesting characters.
The Dutch carry everything on their bikes.
Amsterdam is know for diamonds, but I didn’t bring any back for my wife on this trip.
I had no idea there were going to be this many bikes in the city. They are literally everywhere, of all shapes and sizes, and locked to any stationary object available. I saw entire families on one bike, or people hauling a substantial amount of goods using special bikes. There are multi-level bike parking garages which hold thousands of bikes. It really is great to see, I’m sure it cuts down on the number of cars on the road. Oh, and there is a hose in this photo too.
The only thing there may be more of than bikes is bongs. Imagine if every coffee shop in Vancouver were a bong store, then double it :) I also found out that you don’t go to a coffee shop to get coffee, they sell weed. If you want coffee, go to a cafe.
This liquor store had the coolest bottles I have ever seen, sadly it wasn’t open when I was there.
More bikes, bikes, bikes.
The train station.
Interesting bridge detail.
The Magere Brug, or “Skinny Bridge”. Well lit at night, and one of the more famous bridges in Amsterdam.
None of the buildings have elevators, so they set up these contraptions on the outside to move things in and out. Also, you can see big hooks at the top of the buildings in some of the photos. These were used to attach pulleys to winch stuff up to the higher levels.
Electric car charging station.
The city looks great at night.
This is on the edge of the Red Light District. Down that alley, you can see red lights on the side of the building marking windows where guys can take their pick of women. It’s actually a very trendy area, with a lot of tourists visiting pubs, restaurants, or doing some shopping . The alleys are right in the middle of everything, and everything seems to be clean and safe. As you can imagine, they don’t take kindly to tourists taking photos in front of said windows. I didn’t press my luck by trying it.
Some long exposure fun while Jonathan kept watch on the traffic.
One of my last, and one of my favorite, photos from the day. I set up on a tiny island in the middle of an intersection. I had a view of a tram coming right at me, and veering off to the right. This was my first attempt, and the best of the bunch, I actually thought the tram would hit my camera, but it turned out well.