Amsterdam in Black and White: From the Water

I’ve been to Amsterdam a couple of times now, and every time there’s just something about the place that makes me feel like a bit of me is home. Now, that’s something of a strange feeling, since I’ve lived my entire life in South Africa. My father is Dutch, though, and we go to The Netherlands every couple of years to visit family. Since my sister, uber-talented photographer Nadine van der Wielen, moved over, we’ve been going a bit more frequently.

This year, I surprised my parents by showing up unexpectedly (a little bit on that here) on their scheduled visit. My sister lives in Purmerend, a charming city close to Amsterdam, and so we would go into the capital a few times over our stay.

Over the years I’ve seen quite a bit of Amsterdam, but there’s always more on offer.┬áSince we’ve done a lot of the touristy things already, this trip we stuck to walking around the city, which is in itself a treat. We walked long ways along canals and tiny streets, under huge trees and through crowded enclaves, and spent a day in the wonderful Vondelpark.

One of the key things to do, being the sister of a photographer, is to take as many snapshots as possible. A few years ago I got myself a starter DSLR camera. I have only one lens and I know only a little bit about photography, but when Nadine is around I get a few tips and tricks. However, my favourite things to do is to set my camera on the high contrast black and white setting, and this doesn’t play too well with my colour-loving sister. I imagine she sighs quietly and rolls her eyes a tiny bit when she catches me, but I just love the drama and the – dare I say it – Gothicness of the high contrast black and white. Since I’m only snapping for fun and memories, I feel like I’m entitled to my indulgences.

Therefore, I’ve decided to compile a few of my Amsterdam black and white photos to share here as one of my travel posts (more hopefully coming soon). We had the pleasure of experience Amsterdam from the water, which is definitely one of the best ways to see the city. You get to peak into people’s boat-homes (which are amazing) and gaze wondrously up at the tall historical buildings. It’s almost voyeuristic in the way that you can slowly watch the people on the terraces and hanging out their windows and cycling up the cobblestones go about their lives as you drift by. I hope you enjoy:

The windmill - one of the iconic images of not only Amsterdam, but the Netherlands in general. This is on the outer-skirts of the city, if you're entering it by water.
The windmill – one of the iconic images of not only Amsterdam, but the Netherlands in general. ┬áThis one is on the outer-skirts of the city.
Along one of Amsterdam's iconic canals
Along one of Amsterdam’s iconic canals
To buy, the Calypso Auray
To buy, the Calypso Auray
One of the broader canals in Amsterdam
One of the broader canals in Amsterdam
Amsterdam canals are entrancing, but it's the bridges where couples kiss and musicians play that really set the scene for picturesque
Amsterdam canals are entrancing, but it’s the bridges where couples kiss and musicians play that really set the scene for picturesque
Amsterdam from the water - one of the best ways to see it
Like this musician playing away
Feeding the swans from your window in Amsterdam. This would be bliss.
We drifted past a man feeding the swans, who I imagine drift up at about this time every day to receive their mid-afternoon victuals
And when you're feeling peckish, stop buy this floating Chinese restaurant on the Amstel in Amsterdam
And when you’re feeling peckish, stop buy this floating Chinese restaurant on the Amstel in Amsterdam
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