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Hop on Hop off Canal Boat Amsterdam

Hop on Hop off Canal Boat Amsterdam

“Life’s like a Labyrinth…..always a beginning, always an end. In-between, there lies
before each of us, a truly intriguing maze of interconnected experiences and
influential relationships; But really it is all up to us.  We CAN choose.

We need to carefully navigate our own boat through all of life’s ups and downs.

Sometimes we may veer off course and steer down dry gullies, row up dead end
creeks. At other times we’ll sail around in lovely tranquil bays.  Occasionally,
we’ll have storms to battle; sometimes we’ll venture into bright, and maybe even
diamond days. Just be thankful for the journey and a chance to steer your boat.
Always navigate well, consider all your options carefully and try not to mope
or dwell!

Musings of KidazzleInk, 2013

Remember to steer your boat well

Always steer your boat well

We were now in the Netherlands. In Amsterdam to be precise, which is also often known as the “Venice of Northern Europe“.

We were trying to consider our newly presented options carefully…..trying to make the most of opportunities before us. But I must admit we were also both somewhat tired and travel weary.

After all we had just spent the past few days going from place to place. We’d been rushing here, rushing there, driving on the wrong side of the road, running late, getting lost, battling a new Sat Nav,  negotiating the electronic airline ticket dispense stations, carrying too much luggage and moving between our travel destinations. All so hectic…well yes!!

We’d now moved on from that exhilarating first leg of our European journey, through the enchanting Bavarian region and the oh so beautiful Austria.

For now were hoping to spend the next few days acquainting ourselves with the Netherlands before we started our amazing Amsterdam to Budapest river cruise. We both really wanted to explore this historical, yet modern canal-city called Amsterdam that we’d recently been reading about it back home in Australia.

However, I’m afraid we were also travel weary; you probably know the feeling…… it’s like you need just one rejuvenating day….. “a diamond day” ….to rest, to reflect, to rejuvenate and consider all the new options. Oh for such a perfect day!

With only three and a half days to explore this interesting “Venice of the North”, we wondered how best to make good use of our days. We wanted to be able to relax and yet to be able to see plenty of the city at the same time!!

Amsterdam Canals

Amsterdam Canals

The lovely receptionists back at our hotel (Holiday Inn Express) had thankfully told us about the cost advantages of buying a ‘Holland Pass’. It seemed like a really good option and I have to say we weren’t disappointed. In fact we even ended up buying a second one before we left. Everything was cheaper with this pass. It was also great to have the little book that we could flick through to help us with all of Amsterdam’s sightseeing options.

Well first choice for us today was going to be relaxing one way or another, so we opted for lazing in the labyrinth of Amsterdam’s historical canals. What a great way to see Amsterdam……from its interesting web of convoluted waterways. And the bonus was…… well ….there was really  little effort required on our part.

Hop On, Hop Off Canal Boats

Hop On, Hop Off Canal Boats

Lot’s of R & R (Yes! rest and relaxation).

Lovely Spring Leaf

Lovely Spring Leaf

We could actually spend hours meandering our way through the geography, landmarks, history and culture of this modern canal city. And all from the comfort of our little Hop on, Hop Off canal boats. “Just perfect we thought. We’ll only have to get off about once every hour or so and change boats. After all, that shouldn’t require too much effort should it!!

Just imagine our surprise when we found that we didn’t even have to get off at all. At the end of each of the routes (Red route, Green route, Blue route and Orange route through the maze of Amsterdam’s canals, the captain of the boat would just change his little coloured sign.……then the Red route would actually became the Green route, which would then become the Blue route, which would then become the Orange route and so on). Now how gentile was this for the travel weary.

All we had to do was simply supply ourselves with some lunch at one of the stops which might I add, my dearly beloved did admirably in-between route change-overs at around 1.00pm.

Historic Building in Amsterdam

Historic Building in Amsterdam

We saw so much of Amsterdam City that day from it’s labyrinth of relaxing canals.

We could have chosen to hop off and then hop back on wherever we wished, but just for now, we were oh so happy to simply soak up the atmosphere of this Dutch capital from it’s maze of waterways. We learnt much about the history, the culture and the landmarks of the city without even leaving the canals that day. It was truly a “Diamond day for us.  A time when everything came together so well and even with so  little forethought or prior planning!

An Enormous pair of Dutch Clogs

An Enormous pair of Dutch Clogs

Resident tending his houseboat.

Resident tending his houseboat.

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