For The Tourist: The Tolerant City
Most people would arrive in Amsterdam
via the central train station, either from a train from Schipol airport,
other European destinations or one of the many coaches that bring daily
visitors from many of the North Sea Ferries. The first thing you will see
on the exit doors of the station will be the now famous Amsterdam trams,
boat tours a bit further on and to the right, a cycle park that must contain
a half a million bikes. Three things associated with Amsterdam.
|Amsterdam is in the process of building
an underground train system to make travelling around the city even easier.
This does mean that that on main streets and in front of the central station,
building is in process, which spoils some of the first impressions at this
point, but in a few years time when it is finished I am sure it will be
worth it. Carrying on up the main street from the station you will
arrive at the Dam. Many years ago, it used to hold ships that came directly
up the canals to trade with the city. But now it is more like a city square
with the town hall and Madame Tussaudís on one side and a the main city
statue on the other. In front of the town hall you will often see street
entertainers and if you wish to see the city on a horse and cart, this
is the starting place for the tours. The dam seems to be a magnet for people
during the summer months especially in the early evening. During the winter
months an ice rink is built just in front of the town hall....