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What do South Africa, the
USA, Holland and the Indian Ocean all have in common? – They all have
an Amsterdam !
However, only one of them
has over 800 000 inhabitants from 140 countries, who do their shopping
in 10 334 stores, 165 antique shops and 26 markets. They rush about at a
leisurely pace on their 550 000 bicycles across 1 281 bridges,
zig-zagging around 160 canals, riding through one shower of rain after
another and chasing the minority of car drivers who still venture onto
this territory claimed by the trusty bike.
Yes, of course, this is
the Amsterdam, coronation city and capital of the Netherlands ! Of course
the seat of government is in The Hague, but the City of Canals is the
true “First Lady”. She wears the cosmopolitan scent of a world city,
she is open-minded, lively and breathtaking. As early as the
of the 17th century the city had acquired great wealth by
trading with the exotic lands of Asia. Nowadays the times of the great
sea adventures are long gone, you can only admire museum reconstructions
of the proud East Indies cutters in the port. Instead of the merchants
and sailors haggling over china and spices, today more than four million
visitors pour into the city each year. Amsterdam is a jewel, and the
hallmark “Amsterdam cut” is recognised by more than just dealers in
precious stones as a sign of the highest quality.
So, you don’t have to
go as far afield as South Africa, the USA or the Indian Ocean. The most
beautiful Amsterdam is right here on your doorstep.
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