Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Amsterdam - Early Spring

Early spring is one of the best times to visit Amsterdam. Shoulder season fares and hotel rates make for quite a bargain. Yes, it’s colder. And yes, you might see some ice in the canals. And yes, the trees are still bare. But there are no long lines and there are plenty of hotel rooms.

You’ll find warmth in Amsterdam’s cafes and restaurants, where you can sample cuisine of Indonesian and Indian influence as well as Continental fare. Pork is a staple and can be seen on glowing rotisseries in windows all over town.

Eating and drinking in Amsterdam can be even more enjoyable if you like cats. Every establishment has a cat or two or three that will roam freely. It’s common to see a cat stretched out on the bar or to have one hop up and inspect your lunch. They’re working cats, and do a great job of keeping the mice away. Cozy pubs offer brews from all over the world and travelers with a certain taste can order a puff of something that probably isn't legally available back home.

All in all, Amsterdam is both interesting and entertaining any time of year. But early spring has a certain color and atmosphere that allows the tourist to get a little closer to the Dutch people and the rhythm of Amsterdam. Bon voyage.

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