Amsterdam is a beautiful city, there is no doubt about it.
The last time I lived here, it closed out into winter the week of my arrival and the rest of my time outdoors was spent riding a bike, head down, in the snow/rain charging for the next warm destination while trying to not let my front wheel fall into a tram track and/or die of hypothermia.
In short, I never looked up.
This trip though, I’ve been treated to the end of autumn. And so I’ve been walking around taking it all in. The leaves are orange, the late afternoon light is gold and it plays over the rooftops of the gingerbread houses like a… hang on, where am I?
Lost again in Amsterdam.
This is the big problem when you’re new to the place. Every single street corner looks the same. Cute building, canal, bricks and exceedingly long street names that seem to all end in –veeresdroudevarestraat. It’s like being trapped in an Escher drawing. Didn’t I just come over that bridge? No wait, it was that bridge. No wait, I was walking on the underside of that bridge.
And the whole city seems to bend like that scene in Inception and fold over on itself. Every corner gives you the sneaking suspicion that you’ve been to it before, so you apply what you think you know, only to discover you’ve hit another dead-end or another loop.
And then when you try it at night, it’s all different again. Like someone shuffled the city around into a new formation. And then turned out the lights. The gas lamps are pretty though.
Oh well, I have come across some nice apple pie places. Not that I’ll ever be able to find any of them again.