Walking Around Amsterdam and Learning Some Stuff About it…
Even though it was pouring rain, Amsterdam had our attention and we wanted to learn more about it so we had our umbrellas, ponchos and rain jackets at the ready (all were used) and off we went!
It is safe to say we learnt a lot from these tours and while I won’t bog you down with all the history and details of Amsterdam, because hopefully you will want to learn and see for yourself, I will share with you some stories of things we learnt on the tour.
After walking through the amazing, and yes a little confronting, red light district we learnt this this church in fact wanted and allowed the red light district to survive by cleverly making money off of the sailors who would need to pay for their redemption after falling in to the traps of these lovely women. The church became so proficient at absolving the sins of the sailors that they would even allow them to repent on the sins they were planning to commit, prior to the fact in order of a quick getaway.
We also walked over and around several of the seemingly one million canals that exist in Amsterdam. Here we learnt that being a practicing catholic used to be banned but the church just payed the government to allow them to practice secretly. Secretly to them meant saying prayers in silent and then blare out hymns on the organ of the church you can see in the distance. The people of Amsterdam would report it but the police would somehow not be able to prove it happened.
We also learnt that nearly all of the pretty houses near the canals are crooked and slanting because Amsterdam is built on reclaimed swamp land. If the foundations of the houses weren’t laid properly, eventually overtime the house begins to sink!
We learnt a lot more on our little walking tour of Amsterdam but I’m sure you’ve heard enough for now! Just a few points of proof to tell you that Amsterdam is much more than smoking and red light district shenanigans!