Photographer's Note

Amsterdam - the name derives from a dam in the Amstel river - is the official capital of the Netherlands. The "old town", which is said to be the largest in Europe, is built around a system of canals laid out in four concentric half-circles and with ends emerging at the bay of the IJ river.

Inside these half-circles a couple of canals run more or less parallel and this is one of them - Oudezijds Voorburgwal. The photo is taken from the Damstraat Bridge towards De Wallen, which is the largest and best known "red-light district".

There are more than one hundred kilometers of canals, about 90 islands and 1.500 bridges in Amsterdam. So built on water - and situated two meters below sea level - people do enjoy the proximity of the canals; whether in a boat of your own or in a barge intended for some relaxed sight-seeing.

Looking back on our 2013 journey, my son and I agreed that Amsterdam - and the small town of Stansstad at the Vierwaldstätter See - were the most pleasant of the places we visited. And as we only stayed one night and had just a glimpse of the city, we both would like to return. The least pleasant place was Cannes in the south of France.

The red flag with three white crosses on a black bottom is the official flag of Amsterdam.

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Additional Photos by Kaj Nordstrom (kajenn) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 539 W: 240 N: 845] (2442)
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