Amsterdam in the Autumn

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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 canal

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.

flower market amsterdam

I was also surprised by how many houseboats had decked out their outsides with plants and patios.

houseboat amsterdam
houseboat gardens

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.

jordaan street

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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