Inday Chronicles – Amsterdam
And So I come to Amsterdam, the oddest city of all,–a city wholly built on piles, with as many canals as streets, and an architecture so quaint as to even impress one who has come from Belgium. The whole town has a wharf-y look; and it is difficult to say why the tall brick houses, their gables running by steps to a peak, and each one leaning forward or backward or sideways, and none perpendicular, and no two on a line, are so interesting. But certainly it is a most entertaining place to the stranger, whether he explores the crowded Jews’ quarter, with its swarms of dirty people, its narrow streets, and high houses hung with clothes, as if every day were washing-day; or strolls through the equally narrow streets of rich shops; or lounges upon the bridges, and looks at the queer boats with clumsy rounded bows, great helms’ painted in gay colors, with flowers in the cabin windows,–boats where families live; or walks down the Plantage, with the zoological gardens on the one hand and rows of beer-gardens on the other; or round the great docks; or saunters at sunset by the banks of the Y, and looks upon flat North Holland and the Zuyder Zee.
A memorable journey!