Windmills and canals...these twin features of Amsterdam attract millions of tourists each year to one of Europe's most popular destinations.
Windmills and canals...these twin features of Amsterdam attract millions of tourists each year to one of Europe's most popular destinations.

It's time to get on your bike to start exploring

BIKES and bongs...these are my lasting impressions of Amsterdam.

Oh, and windmills. And canals. And art.

It's taken me 60 years to navigate my way to the city of tulips, but it was well worth the wait.

As a regular recreational cyclist, this city is made for me.

Everywhere you go you're surrounded by bikes of all shapes and sizes, and their proliferation seems to mean power to the pedallers.

So none of the road rage associated with venturing out on Australian roads, where so often it's an angry car v bike showdown.

Live and let live seems to be the Dutch motto, and that suits me just fine.

A leisurely pedal out to the historic windmill village of Zaanse Schans was a highlight of my three-night Amsterdam adventure.

No helmet required, so it was a ride on the wild side with the wind in what little remains of my hair.

My normally dormant arty side also came alive in Amsterdam, with a visit to the Van Gogh museum providing a great insight into this master of the easel.

All your senses are alive in Amsterdam, but your nasal passages in particular certainly get a workout as you wander along the winding canals and alluring laneways.

I'm not one to partake in such things, but the distinctive aroma of cannabis is a regular reminder of the relaxed drug laws here.

Perhaps fortunately, these accompanying pictures aren't scratch and smell, but hopefully they paint many thousand words of praise.

If you ever get the chance to visit this unique city, pack your padded bike shorts and get ready for the ride of your life.

 

Rare view...Rembrandt is among the famous Dutch painters whose work is on display at Museum Square
Rare view...Rembrandt is among the famous Dutch painters whose work is on display at Museum Square

 

Cheers to that! For 300 years, Willem Neerfeldt's famous Dutch beer has successfully quenched many seemingly insatiable thirsts throughout the world.
Cheers to that! For 300 years, Willem Neerfeldt's famous Dutch beer has successfully quenched many seemingly insatiable thirsts throughout the world.

 

Blooming lovely. The canals are lovely enough in their own right, but the frequent floral touches just add another level of beauty.
Blooming lovely. The canals are lovely enough in their own right, but the frequent floral touches just add another level of beauty.

 

Bikes, bikes and more bikes. Special storage areas are available to the thousands of commuters.
Bikes, bikes and more bikes. Special storage areas are available to the thousands of commuters.

 

Water features everywhere around Amsterdam...here it leaps skywards outside the Rijksmuseum.
Water features everywhere around Amsterdam...here it leaps skywards outside the Rijksmuseum.

 

The traditional wooden shoes (clogs/klompen) are an important part of Dutch heritage and are still worn in rural areas today.
The traditional wooden shoes (clogs/klompen) are an important part of Dutch heritage and are still worn in rural areas today.

 

The Vincent Van Gogh Museum celebrates the special genius of one of the world's best-known artists.
The Vincent Van Gogh Museum celebrates the special genius of one of the world's best-known artists.

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