A little bit about Amsterdam
Amsterdam is a city of organic merging of seemingly incompatible things. The entangled channel system is combined with a well-designed network of bicycle paths. Numerous discounts and coupons for food - with expensive tickets to museums and galleries. In this city, every detail is graphically illustrated by the fusion of Dutch accuracy with chaos and confusion. Classic pubs, markets with tulips of all possible colors, free love and easy drugs.
Amsterdam is the largest city in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. It is located on the Amstel River, from which the city's name comes - "Dam on Amstel". The Constitution of the country defines Amsterdam as the capital of the Netherlands, but the government is located in The Hague.
The first written mention of the fishing village of Damba-on-Amstelve dates back to 1204, and the name of Amsterdam was recorded in 1275, when Earl Floris V granted fishermen exemption from bridge duties, ie from bridging fees. Amsterdam received the status of the city in 1300. The right of free trade on the Baltic Sea and close ties with the Hanseatic League contributed to the fact that Amsterdam is becoming one of the largest and most important ports of Europe, a trading and financial center. The city gained even more influence after the liberation of the Netherlands from Spanish rule. The southern regions fell into decay, Antwerp - the oldest competitor of Amsterdam - was ravaged by the Spaniards.
The 17th century is considered the golden age of Amsterdam. This is one of the largest cities in Europe, the world trade and financial center, and, importantly, Amsterdam - the world center for diamond cutting. Here there was a first stock exchange. In the future, the city will lose its leading position, but will remain one of the largest and most important cities and ports.
Now Amsterdam is one of the most popular tourist centers in Europe. The unique atmosphere of old buildings and canals, museums, many attractions attract millions of tourists every year.
The first time I was in Amsterdam by accident. There was just a flight from Milan to Moscow with a transfer in Amsterdam.
Time between flights gave an opportunity to look at the city.
The walk was pleasant. Channels, old houses, open toilets on the streets.
Light odor of light drugs. Developed sex industry. Prostitutes. A huge number of bicycles.
Another time I was in Amsterdam in the fall. Feelings are almost the same. In general, the city is compulsory to visit, but probably, by car to stick to the center - it's crazy.
I did not know this (I assumed) and drove into the very center.
There is no parking, and the one that is there costs like a hotel room. There are no hotel rooms. And those that are - costs as a car. Temporarily solving the problem with parking we went to look for lodging. By the way, we saw the door of the Booking headquarters in Amsterdam. The door was like just a door.
On one of the big streets there was some kind of desk selling rooms in hotels and all other places of settlement. I bought a voucher for settling there from an incomprehensible Dutchman who spoke in strange English, so strange that I did not understand anything and clung to just a few words. He explained to me for a long time where to live. I understood and we went to the address.
My wife quietly sawed me along the road, drawing a perspective that we were deceived and there is no hotel, and if there is, then we will not be allowed into it ... and the rest of the rest ...
We came through a tunnel under a canal to the sleeping area of Amsterdam. Silence and peace. No cars, no people. There is no hotel. Some parked cars and houses with rare burning windows. Time is around midnight. My wife even stopped wailing and worrying. Here it is. I told you.
And I was surprised. Well, there can not be such a thing. I think we need to find the exact address. I look at the house numbers. Such - is, there is - there is ... but mine is not. Yeah, I think, maybe not everything is lost. I walked past the houses and went out to the embankment. Somewhere far away on that bank the lights of Amsterdam are burning, and I just have a wave beating against the pier. And suddenly, I look, there is a moored schooner. A sailing ship with masts, rigging. Well, I think it's kind of spectacular. I look on the side and see the name. Somewhere I heard something like that! I look in the voucher - for sure! This is our hotel!
Imagine, we climb aboard, we are met by young people. They gave us the keys to the cabin. Fantastic.
We talked with them in the morning. It turned out the schooner was on the move. Goes out to sea. The crew is only 4 people. It seemed to me very big, but apparently not very.
Night in the cabin, isn't it an adventure, in an appendage to everything else. The waves swayed softly. Slightly creaked body. Solid romance.
And these are the same urinals on the street. People use it and nothing. We, sometimes, along the intercity roads, too, stand, without any urinals.