Amsterdam to me

“Organized Chaos,

Canals, bridges, bikes.

This is Amsterdam”

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Organized chaos was how a local described it. My first impression of Amsterdam was efficient. Cars, buses, trains and bikes alike, circled in symphony down the narrow roads and alleyways.  Boats below slowly meandered through the canals bringing tourists a view of the city. Bakeries and coffee shops line the streets as old-world architecture reminds you of the history. Locals walking side by side with tourists, being a bit surer of their way. Double-decker buses turn on a dime as a sprinting bicyclist narrowly escapes their fate. Rain steadily pours down on and off as the cold air turns everyone’s cheeks rosy. An American, I must be, as I am greeted in English wherever I go. Interested and not standoffish, the baristas and waitresses renounce my misconceptions of Dutch people. Strolling through the city is a sight to behold as the architecture seems to melt into the canals as boats and cars seem to be on the same plane from far away. No honks or slamming on brakes, these people weave and out as they get to be where they need to be. Here, the one-way streets are logical – a lane for cars, parked cars in the middle and a lane for bikes and scooters. Everyone has their place as traffic moves along, dodging the tourist looking at their phone. Very walkable, even in the cold, the destinations are well-marked and well-traveled. Get lost along the way as the many streets and unfamiliar names will have you in circles before you know it. There are many ways from Point A to Point B and stopping at a tulip market, a bakery or a coffee shop helps enhance the experience. No agenda gives freedom as this is a city to get lost in and explore.

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