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Holland has a vast network of centuries-old canals that are still used to drain water from below-sea-level farmlands and to transport people and cargo. They pass through tranquil country-scapes and Amsterdam's photogenic rows of city mansions.
Best 3 Canals
They are the Herengracht, Keizergracht and Prinsengracht. These 17th-century waterways form concentric half circles around Amsterdam's inner core.
The Herengracht is especially noted for its Golden Bend stretch. Both banks sport grand houses built by rich merchants.
A half-day canal sightseeing outing is a must to enjoy the squat picturesque bridges and the 17th-century residences and commercial buildings lining the narrow canals. These tours take you back in time.
You can also book accommodations on a houseboat docked along the banks.
And, from Amsterdam, you can take a river cruise as far as the Black Sea. Click Rhine/Danube cruise to read my web page on that all-water journey.
Bridges generally offer the best vantages for capturing the canals.
Sunny midday is ideal for shooting because the overhead solar light bathes the canyon-like setting.
Two famous annual parades - Queen's Day and Gay Pride - use the canal as a street. Hundreds of thousands of people line the banks and bridges to view the passing parade boats. The events take on a festive carnival spirit.
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