I had known Amsterdam had a lot of parks, but I wasn’t expecting the areas outside of the official parks to be so well planted.
Amsterdam’s famous flower market was pretty but not as busy as I thought it would be. We were clearly off-season.
The flower market is famous for being ‘floating’ but it seemed fairly fixed on concessions that half hung over the water.
I was also surprised by how many houseboats had decked out their outsides with plants and patios.
We took a canal bout tour which we enjoyed (especially the children). We were told that there are 2500 houseboats in Amsterdam. You need a permit to dock a houseboat and they are hard to come by. The inside of many of the houseboats looked quite modern.
We also wandered around the Jordaan which is a trendy neighbourhood filled with boutiques and cafes. We were told the Jordaan was originally built for the working poor in 1612 and the word is probably a corruption of the word ‘jardin’ in French. Many of the streets in the area are named after flowers. So, it’s not only the Americans who think (a) putting a French word on something instantly makes it seem posher than it is and (b) housing developments with names from nature are an inoffensive way to name streets in a newly-built neighbourhood.
We also discovered that behind the pretty facades of the houses, there were beautiful not-so-secret courtyards for the benefit of the locals.
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