Amsterdam Then and Now: 12 Photos

by Shelli

I don’t know about you, but I miss traveling! And while many of us have transported ourselves to different parts of the world by the recipes we cook, the books we read, and the shows we stream, nothing is ever quite as transformative as travel. Photographs are another way to transport yourself to places you’ve been or places you’ve long wanted to visit. Your future travel wish list might also include destinations to return to once the clouds subside and the travel skies open up again.

For me, Amsterdam ranks high on my return-to-as-soon-as-possible list. I love cities where I can walk and walk for miles. I’m delighted when I spend time in cities with classic architecture, art and museums, good food, and abundant people watching opportunities. Many cities in Europe fit the bill and Amsterdam is one of my favorites.

As we might imagine, life in Amsterdam during this pandemic time isn’t what it used to be. Recently, my friend Marjo sent me photos of how Amsterdam looks now and how it looked then. Both smiles and sadness arose when I viewed them. I wanted to share them with you. After all, one picture is worth 1000 words!

Amsterdam Then

People and boats on the Amsterdam canals

Now this is the lively action we’re used to along the Amsterdam canals!

Friends enjoying a coffee alongside Amsterdam waterway

Street musicians in Amsterdam

Good weather, good music!

Concert alongside Amsterdam Canals

Amsterdam Church Festivities

Amsterdam waterways filled with boats

Amsterdam evenings

Amsterdam Now

Amsterdam canals without boats

Amsterdam Canals as quiet as can be without boats

Empty streets along Amsterdam canals

No people on bicycles and no boats along the canal. Sad scene, indeed.

Empty tourist sites in Amsterdam

Amsterdam's empty streets during pandemic

Amsterdam’s streets are never this empty!

Empty amusement park in Amsterdam

No fun without all the people.

Final Thoughts

Last summer during a European heat wave, I spent time in southern Spain. To keep cool I took cold showers. And strange but true, I read Hans Brinker, or the Silver Skates. Reading about early 19th-Century Dutch life and all that ice skating was another wonderful way to cool off. These photos of 21st-Century Amsterdam juxtaposed with Amsterdam only a few months prior do remind us that a picture is worth 1000 words.



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