This is also Amsterdam! In fact, this is the only Amsterdam most people coming here will ever see. It’s crowded, it caters to tourists, and you never want to come to this area unless you have to. I’m talking about the old center, of course.
So I had to go to Warmoestraat the other day. While there, I quickly remembered why I wanted to move out of the center. I also remembered the words of my sister, after she visited Amsterdam for the first time, long ago, when I hadn’t even set foot here yet: “I didn’t quite like Amsterdam…”
It’s not like Warmoestraat – and De Wallen, in general – is not beautiful. Quite the opposite! It’s one of the oldest streets in Amsterdam, if not the oldest. This is where Amsterdam started. It has a lot of significance and I am well aware of this.
When I walk down the Warmoestraat, however, I cannot feel it. The history, the importance, the charm. All I know is that I want myself out of there as soon as possible. I cannot walk, a bike is always ready to run over me, and there is nothing I would particularly like to shop there, let alone stay for food and drinks.
Same goes for Damrak, the main street from Central Station, the lead way to the city. I know it used to be water where there are now trams and cars. With ships sailing into the city. I saw it in history books and online photo archives. But then again, it’s hard to think of this when sharing the pavement with thousands of other people.
This is what my sister meant. On that first visit, hanging around in the busy old center, she could not feel Amsterdam.
So I found it rather strange to stop for photos in these “no-go” areas. But I did it anyways. For my own archives. And I must admit I quite liked them. Because, as I said, this is also Amsterdam. Besides, there are Christmas lights everywhere! 🙂