Long Walk around Amsterdam

We arrived at Amsterdam Centraal train station and immediately began to explore.  Once again, we were impressed by the number of bicycles parked in the vicinity.
We walked over a canal bridge (Haarlemmersluis).
We passed more colorful bicycles piled high along every surface.
We ran into the Poezenboot, a floating refuge for abandoned cats docked along the Singel Canal.  
Unfortunately, the Poezenboot wasn't open on Sunday but we did see this nonchalant tabby grabbing a nap outside.
We admired the classic canal houses along Singel.
We stopped at Villa Zeezicht and sat outside on the canal bridge for a coffee -- it was a lovely sunny day.
We stumbled upon the Brilmuseum (Glasses Museum) on a side street nearby.
I saw one of the smallest cars I've ever seen.
I liked this mix of insect and cartoon graffiti along a side alley.
We stopped at Vlaamse Friteshuis for a cone of French fries with curry sauce.  They were amazing - crisp, salty, and hot.
We strolled past the flower market and saw bulbs of every description.
Henri Willig Cheese and More tempted us with different flavors of Dutch cheese sold in colorful wax wrappers.
The cheese shop featured copious wooden shutters.
We continued along the flower market and saw various symbols we identify with Holland...like tulips...
...and more controversial weeds...
We chuckled when we saw this coin operated burger machine at a fast food joint.  Vending machine sandwiches?  How good can they be?
We wandered through a weekend art market.
We emerged near the River Amstel.
We spotted a lady pushing a Marlboro wheelbarrow and wearing a cigarette costume on the streets.  I'm not sure if she was pro or anti-cigarette.
Skulls warned about passing through this gate.
We stopped to have a beer on Nieuwmarkt at Cafe t'Loosje.
The weather was so nice that we really had to vie for a seat.  We found a good spot near the street overlooking the square.
We enjoyed a Texelsel and Brasserie D'Achouffe.
Modern art deco inspired architecture sat side-by-side with more historic buildings.
We walked through the infamous Red Light District - an interesting spectacle even in broad daylight.
We emerged onto Dam Square where many people were wiling away their Sunday afternoon.
We saw yet another gorgeous, fat tabby in a shop window nearby.
Plenty of boats were out cruising on the Herengracht (Gentleman's Canal).
The red wooden shutters on these canal buildings were striking.
Even on a side street, we caught a glimpse of the hooks used to haul stuff into the tall narrow homes.
We spotted an intriguing symbol with gold flowing from a castle tower.
I really liked the decorations on the bikes I saw around town like this flower adorned handlebar.
We continued along the canals...
We noted playful decorations on various homes...both classical...
...and modern...
A wall of post-its stared at us from a storefront.  It's an interesting alternative to curtains.
We stumbled upon t'Smalle Restaurant for dinner.
The food was delicious and we were able to dine outside in the sun.  We especially like the red pepper, cheese, and garlic appetizer served with bread.
I opted for the lamb shank for my main course which was also very good.
I don't normally like mayonnaise but I have to admit that the mayo they served here was delicious for dipping frites.
Small monuments looked down upon our meal.
We saw yet another tabby asleep in an apartment window.
We enjoyed one last pass around the canals before heading back to the train station and our flight back to Dublin.
I'll leave you with a selection of bicycle seat covers that I captured during our walk.  The Dutch seem obsessed with them -- the rest of the bike could get soaked in the rain, but they make sure the seat stays dry!
Here's the route that we walked in two parts.  We covered about 6.5 miles walking around town.
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Sidewalk Safari: Long Walk around Amsterdam
Long Walk around Amsterdam
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Sidewalk Safari
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