Walked from close to the Palace to Amstel River along the scenic Herengracht. Beautiful mature trees, great views of some of the best old houses in town, lots of activity on the canal, few shops. Very dangerous traffic conditions for newly-arrived tourists: bicycles and trams sneaking up on you from all directions, cyclists not always stopping for red traffic lights, some drivers stopping to let you cross - but then a bike comes tearing down the road. Little patience from other pedestrians if you forget to walk on the right-hand side of often narrow sidewalks. In terms of road surface the bikes are best off, followed by the cars. You have to look where you are going not to trip over cobblestones and manhole covers. In parts the sidewalk is taken up by parked service vehicles and thousands of locked-down bicycles. But we survived and learnt a lot. Also: when trying to find your way back to your hotel, remember that Amstel (Street) is not the same as Amsteldijk.
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