In Focus: Amsterdam

The World Cup is steadily headed toward the pinnacle match, and a winner will be crowned in a matter of days. The Round of 16 is dwindling down to the next round of 8, and one of the countries that have made it through is The Netherlands. I personally have been rooting for the Oranje, alongside other teams (my USA team included, of course). My support for the Dutch truly stems from my love for Holland.

I visited Amsterdam for a few days as a stop-over on the way to Cape Town in South Africa. Aside from the things Amsterdam is known for (like sex, drugs… and more sex), I fell in love with what more the city truly is. Aside from being one of the world’s most travelled to destinations, it is also truly global in make-up and practice. Less than half of the city’s population is made up of citizens of non-Dutch parentage, which – much like its other global city counterparts – manifests through the various culinary, cultural and religious scenes found within the city.

It is a city where a plethora of languages are spoken, mainly due to the high-volume of tourists that dot the streets. It is also a city of museums –from the Van Goh to the Rijksmuseum to the Anne Frank House. There is a lot of history and culture to explore. And then there are those infamous canals. The canals are as ubiquitous to Amsterdam as are the “coffee shops” and the red light district, although the canals are arguably the city’s pride and joy. Canal tours shuttle tourists around the city during all days of the year, and offer a one-of-a-kind view into Amsterdam’s storied past.

Check-out this video from theguardian.com’s “my city” video guide series. In just over 9 minutes, Marc Paping shows off some of Amsterdam’s hidden gems along the waterside. You will learn that there is much to see and do in Amsterdam, and all of Holland.

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(Photo from http://hdwallpapercorner.com)

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