Last one for Europe 2012!

Christmas tree and the palace by day. It snowed quite a bit overnight. Snow everywhere…

Typical Amsterdam houses line the river. I didn’t realise it then but after looking through my photographs, I realise that some of these houses are slightly crooked? If you look carefully at the windows, not all of them line up straight…

As we only had one full day in Amsterdam, we decided to take a city bus tour as we did in Zurich. I think city bus tours are quite convenient when you’re pressed for time.

Yeah. Amsterdam, you are definitely interesting. hahah

We did pass by their red light district, I think, but it was daytime so nothing to see there. (But! When we arrived in Amsterdam and took a taxi to our hotel, we passed a building somewhere with women sitting/standing in the large display windows. I’d heard about such things, but it was definitely kinda odd to actually see it albeit just for a second.)

I didn’t get many usable photos from most of the bus ride because the bus was moving and the tinted windows meant the colours tended to go wonky. :(

Our tour guide and bus driver decided to take us just outside the city to see a windmill since the weather was pretty good. Here’s a lonely wind turbine en route to the windmill.

Drove by a river – part of the River Amstel, I think…? The sun and clouds and bare trees made for interesting pictures. (This is one of the benefits of winter scenery: lack of leaves means that the shape of the trees and tree branches is thrown into focus.)

Plenty of houses lining the river.

I just like that clump of three trees in the centre.

Near the windmill, there were these… mountain cattle? I don’t know what they are, exactly. (I probably know more about unusual sea creatures than I do about unusual land ones…)

The bus stopped for us to get down and take pictures of the windmill. I got several nice ones. :D I like the way the flare from the sun came out in this pic.

Random building in Amsterdam with unusual architecture. The variety of architecture in Amsterdam is quite intriguing. There’s the old traditional types, and then there’s the more art nouveau and art deco types, and there’s the very modern sort.

Dropped by a diamond factory. This is some guy hard at work cutting diamonds. Teeny tiny diamonds I could barely see…

More riverside houses! We took a river boat tour in the afternoon.

No upside-down anchors allowed?

Amsterdam is full of canals, so there are lots and lots of bridges.

Lots of bicycles too.

We went past a trawler or something of the sort that was dredging the river. The boat tour guide explained that they were dredging rubbish up, and that a good part of the rubbish was bicycles that had fallen into the river.

Lots of boats on the river too – many of them are houseboats. Some had small gardens of potted plants on top. haha (None in this picture though.)

After the boat tour we walked around a bit more. Saw this cheese shop. Those orange blocks in the windows of that building there? Cheese. Big blocks of yellow-orange cheese.

Hmm. I don’t remember what else we did that day. Since my photos ceased shortly after this cheese shop one, I’m assuming I didn’t do anything else. haha (I do know that I chose to go back to the hotel while my parents went shopping in the evening though.)

The next day we headed to Frankfurt amidst heavy snowfall, stayed there a night and then hopped on a plane back to Malaysia. Thus ended my 2012 European trip.

Conclusion: I still really like London. And I think Amsterdam is potentially worth exploring for photography – but maybe in spring or summer. Germany didn’t impress me much. I prefer France.

If I was to travel to Europe again, I think highest on my list is London. (…I like it. Theatre, museums, parks. And I still haven’t been to the London Zoo! I don’t live there so I’m not yet tired of all those things.) Then Amsterdam. But at the moment, honestly, more than either London or Amsterdam, I would like to go back to Japan. 8D

Got anything to add or say? :D