Amsterdam – Street Scenes | Viking Cruise

by Elouise

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Busy! Sensory overload! Unplanned chaos. Tourist magnet. Not for all the right reasons, I’m sorry to say. This post is just a taste of what kept us awake the afternoon we arrived in Amsterdam. Our guide kept us moving, and we did our best to keep up with him.

The top photo captures the reality of modernity (big bold red public buses), and of time-honored tradition (bikes — the subject of my last Amsterdam post). Pedestrians beware!

Here’s what we saw when we left the cruise ship with our trusty guide.
What do you notice?

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I love the guys fishing on the pier
right in the middle of it all.

Our first landmark was a huge, modern transportation center.
I’m glad I didn’t have to figure out which way to go.
Note traffic lanes for various types of transportation
including pedestrians.

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Here we’re in the belly of the building.
Note directional signs.
Sorry you can’t hear the sound effects. Think noise. Lots of it.

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When we came out the other side,
we began our tour near the red light district.
Not a comforting sight.
Note the cathedral tower on the right side of the photo.
We’re looking at the back side of the district.

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The next three photos give a better perspective —
without so many people in the way.
Notice the water level that’s steadily rising,
sagging architecture and uneven walls on many old buildings,
boats ready for nighttime cruises by windows
that showcase women for commercial sex,
and the cathedral tower in the background.

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Here’s one last look at one of the buildings on the canal.
It’s visible in the first photo of the red light district.
You can see why it caught my eye.

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Wednesday of this week, January 11, was
*International Human Trafficking Awareness Day, a day to raise awareness
and honor those who offer alternatives to
women, children and men exploited for commercial sex.
I couldn’t help thinking about these photos.

Here we are, moving on behind our trusty guide.
Do you like my backpack?
Don’t miss the clutter of bikes just to our right
and the bikers ahead of us on the sidewalk.
Being a pedestrian isn’t for sissies!

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We’re headed to an area that draws hoards of tourists and shoppers.
Here’s a taste what’s coming in the next exciting installment.

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To be continued….

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 12 January 2017
Photo credit: DAFraser, Amsterdam, July 2016

*To find out more about human trafficking, click here.