Amsterdam's Charm

Amsterdam--a laid-back city with a rustic, small-town charm.  The Las Vegas of Europe may not have clubs open all night or open container laws like New Orleans, but there is a carefree vibe that pervades the city.  This carefree vibe is probably--at least in part--due to the fact that "coffee houses" in Amsterdam sell marijuana, and you can smell marijuana fumes drifting along the canals and streets of the city. Luckily, the sun was out--and so were the Dutch.  We happily soaked up the sun as we peddled our bikes along the canals of the city--from the old town to Leidseplein, and even down to Vondelpark.  We saw great museums, plenty of tulips, drank some Heineken and Amstel, and ate some wonderfully fresh food that seemed so typical of Holland (and a Gouda tasting too!)

Amsterdam--a city that respects bicyclists!  There are numerous bike paths--most of which are far from the regular flow of traffic.  We biked from the old city center, to Leidseplein, and Vondelpark.

We searched for the infamous Red Light District, but had a hard time finding much "red."  Apparently, Holland is reforming things around Amsterdam in order to stay in compliance with strict European Union regulations.  They have closed down even the largest "gentlemen's clubs" in the Red Light District, as they were able to find illegal drug and/or sex trafficking in most of them. The city has bought up the space.  Intoxicated youngsters and prostitute-seekers stumbling through the Red Light District will soon be a thing of the past.