Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Amsterdam, Holland

Amsterdam, Noord-Holland- 70 islands are separated by 50 miles of canals and connected by 1,000 bridges. Perhaps the best introduction to the city's charm is a canal cruise on one of the glass-topped boats that depart from the convenient downtown docks.

Amsterdam is a shopper's city as well. Antique shops along the Spiegelgracht and the Rokin proffer everything from porcelains to pewter. The Albert Cuyp Market, extending for blocks along Albert Cuyp Straat, is an open-air market offering food, clothing and many other items.

Amsterdam's flower market consists of flotilla of barges anchored along the Singel Canal that sell fresh, dried and silk flowers. The World Trade Center at 1 Strawinkskylaan is a modern shopping and business complex with boutiques, eateries and exhibit halls. Kalverstraat and Leidsestraat also are popular shopping areas. Small shops along the canals and in the Jordaan area are well worth exploring.