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Amsterdamís cultural heritage site deemed a Unesco world-class pearl

Unforgettable experiences below the hanenbalk

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

I amsterdam. A clever branding concept, which, one could argue, misses a (heart-shaped) object between the I and Amsterdam. The huge sculpted letters are a confirmed attraction to people, who literally crawl all over this street-level attraction while taking pictures of filming it. When considering the attention it receives, I amsterdam must be rated as a very successful advertising tool which is nestling itself in many photo albums and video footage.

Many visitors choose to tour Amsterdam by bus. Why use roads if there are canals to tour? Bus and train operators offer lay-over travelers with a minimum of four hours time between connecting flights at Schiphol a combined street and waterway sightseeing experience with this amphi-bus.

The Dutch experience includes living with waterways, be it ditches, creeks, canals and rivers, mostly of necessity. In Amsterdam, there is an additional lifestyle experience: Some Amsterdammers argue that conventional accommodation is too expensive and that living in a house boat is easier on the budget. It goes well beyond that because they love the alternative culture that goes with it. In addition to those flat-roofed floating Ďranchersí, visitors to Amsterdam also will find abandoned freight barges re-modeled for residential usage. But be careful! Moorage for these Ďhomesí is governed by strict rules.

The annual Grachtenfestival is one of Amsterdamís top cultural events, including some actually taking place on a temporary platform on the canal. This water-level concert can be seen as a typical Amsterdam experience, where such cultural expressions blend with life on the street creating a unique atmosphere. The festival has dozens of other venues as well, many held in what could be described as unorthodox venues.

Anyone interested in a copy of this colourful and richly illustrated two-page feature (photos will lend extra meaning to the text above), is welcome to request a copy of the December 23, 2011 issue of the Windmill Herald.