Amsterdam – Canal tours

My last morning in Amsterdam was by far the most relaxing morning I had all trip. I woke up a little later than usual, which is fantastic especially considering the fact that I was still falling asleep around midnight to 1AM each night and the jet lag was winning the battle. I got up, wandered down to breakfast, ate my delicious meal and planned out the activities of my last day in Amsterdam.

At this point, I had spent quite a bit of time in Amsterdam and I honestly do not believe I planned correctly for this trip.  Amsterdam had been great and I’m very happy to have gone but with the way that I travel, I allotted too much time for this city. I am used to hectic running from site to site, wandering nonstop and being excessively tired but really seeing a city. After I had hit most everything I wanted to see and experience in Amsterdam, I still had time left over and I was already antsy and ready to move onto the next city even though I still had one more day left. I was actually rationing activities for me to do in the city so that I could fill the days and not give into the urge to lay in bed all day in the warmth.

When I finished my delicious breakfast of more meats and cheeses, I started out toward the museum plaza. One of the things about the I Amsterdam city card is that you get a free canal ride through the city with the purchase of the card. The hotel concierge had recommend Blue Boat Company for the canal tour because of the options it had and the routes that it took.  I had spotted the take off location the day that I had gotten lost on my way to the Rijksmuseum so I had a vague idea of where I was trying to go that day. Since I had so much time to fill on my last day in Amsterdam, I leisurely walked in that general direction and tried to take a different route to the Blue Boat stand. I finally arrived there, ordered my ticket and luckily I had gotten there about 20 minutes before the next tour so I just stood in line and waited to board the canal boat.

When you go to Amsterdam, I would highly recommend the canal tours. I’ve heard the night time ones are great but the day time one was fantastic.  Unlucky for me, it was really foggy this day but regardless it was great.  The boat was heated and that made everything okay.  We drove through the canals and listened to the tour guide through the headphones that we had plugged in at the edge of all of the tables.  Each channel was a different language that you could listen to so that you could really understand the history of the city. The tour goes through the way the city was built, why it was built the way it was, the purpose of the canals, the history behind the buildings and the architecture, and it passes by major attractions so that you can plot what you want to see when you’re walking through the city.  It may have been better for me to take the tour at the beginning of my time in Amsterdam but lesson learned.

Overall, I would highly recommend the tour because it gives you a great history of the city but it also gives a fantastic perspective of the city itself.  It’s one thing to see the city from the sidewalks and above the water but when you are lower than everything else looking up at the city and the people, it’s definitely something different. It’s great to go along the canals, under the bridges full of people and cars, and look up at the buildings and the city itself. Along with that, it’s great to see the house boats and the canals from a different perspective.  There’s history behind the house boats that are parked along the canals and each house boat has it’s own little set of characteristics that make it unique from the one next to it.  It is almost like a second neighborhood within the city neighborhoods or another world inside of Amsterdam.

After an hour of wandering the city via the water, we returned to the Blue Boat stand and I got ready to finish off my last day in Amsterdam.

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