Strolling Along the Amstel

When you live in the Netherlands for some time, it eventually seems like the weather is grey, cloudy, windy and/or rainy for ten months in a year. Obviously this is more a personal perception than anything else, but after experiencing the wetness of autumn, winter and spring it’s easy for me to forget just how lovely the weather can get when it’s nice outside.

One September evening after work last year, I went for a walk in the area of the Waterlooplein metro station (which is next to the opera house). The weather and light were lovely and, despite the chill, I thought to make the best of what remaining sunshine we had.

amsterdam-amstel-river-01

amsterdam-amstel-river-02
Plaques in memory of the Jewish residents living in the houses along this canal, who were deported to concentration camps during World War II

In Amsterdam, I quite like the areas along the Amstel and IJ. The sense of openness and space is something that I don’t get elsewhere in the city. Furthermore, where I was walking there are several folding bridges – like the one below – which I find lend a distinct historical air to the surroundings.

amsterdam-amstel-river-03
Commuters waiting at the Walter Süskind bridge, folded up to accommodate a tall boat sailing past

In those months where the sun still takes some time to set and the weather happens to be sunny, the evening hours are among the best times of the day. The light is soft and warm and everything just looks better. It is so easy to take these moments for granted, and I often end up forgetting how enjoyable they are during the darker months.

But – as we near the end of March this can only mean that the days get longer and longer. The annual reprieve from the darkness approaches.

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