I recently wrote an article on “The Most Impressive Tourist Attractions” and Sara, one of my readers, included a comment describing how she felt when she visited the Victoria Falls – it was a magical experience. Her honest, beautifully-worded comment got me thinking about all those enchanting places around the world that I’ve visited and how I felt at that particular moment. Her comment has inspired me to start a new velvet escape series called ‘Enchanting spots’.
One such enchanting spot is right here in my own backyard! I love Amsterdam, and especially its stunning canals. Built during the city’s Golden Age in the 17th century, the canals form a concentric belt around the city centre. The canals (more than 100 kilometers long and crossed by more than a thousand bridges!) and the gorgeous houses that line them are now one of the city’s prime attractions (and may soon be listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site). Whenever I have friends visiting, I always take them out for a walking tour around the canals or hire a boat (a must-do in the summer!) for a leisurely canal cruise.
My favourite canal-side spot to sit and take in the view is at the intersection of the Keizersgracht and Leidsegracht (‘gracht’ = canal). I love sitting on the railings of the bridge that crosses the Leidsegracht as it offers a gorgeous view of some of the most beautiful houses in Amsterdam as well as the tranquil waters of the intersecting canals.
It really is a soothing spot and is especially beautiful in the evenings when the street and bridge lights cast a magical glow, and the reflection of the lights make the canals sparkle. I always take visitors to this spot, like my dear friend, Evelyn a.k.a. Journeywoman.