The Dutch word for sun is "zon", which amuses me to no end.
I was pretty psyched to see it anyway. Dutch is a fun language- it has a cadence so similar to English that sometimes it takes a second to realize that you don't understand a word that is being said.
The city really puts on a brilliant face when the light hits it.
We generally choose one super tourist-trap thing to do while visiting anyplace, and a sunny day called for a canal cruise. They last about an hour and chug about the maze of canals at a leisurely pace.
A house boat here would just be fantastic, wouldn't it?
Most of the old merchant houses have a winch on the top gable. The city is pretty tight on space, so staircases tended to be narrow. Moving furniture of any size required a little ingenuity. Also, because the canals used to flood quite a bit, nice furniture tended to be put up on the upper leves of the houses.
An old stone watchtower is part of what remains of the original city walls:
The Dutch love their modern architecture.
They have some very ultra-modern ones that feel very organic. In Paris, the modern buildings are usually considered hideously ugly, or like the national library, terribly designed. Here, they seemed to fit right in. Most of them are on reclaimed land and in "new" sections of the city anyway, so no historic townhouses were destroyed in the making of them.