Amsterdam Odyssey Tour
I was thrilled to be invited on a personal Amsterdam Odyssey Tour this week by this new customised tour company. I had been asked what my likes/dislikes and interests were in preparation for the tour, and never having been on a tour of any kind before it was a challenging question to answer! So I gave Eva & Hanneke some background of how I like to travel and how my lack of organising specific routes, or locations had led to all sorts of wonderful adventures. (Did I ever tell you about the time I was arrested in China for being 500 kms inside the closed territory?)
We met at a lovely cafe on the edge of the Bellamy quarter and Eva started with a rather useful history of Amsterdam and how as trade expanded over the centuries the development of the city proceeded outwards to give it its famous horseshoe shape. The area were were walking in had in the 16th Century been more of an escape to the (then boggy!) country, but as the industrial revolution had expanded, so did commerce and the need for residential areas. We proceeded to walk around this area of hidden treasures that was developed in the early 20th Century and it was so interesting to hear all their stories. Not only did they share a wealth of knowledge on the area spanning generations and different areas of commerce , but they shared personal anecdotes too.
I particularly liked the surprise bike ride from Belamy quarter through the Overtoomseveld as it really added to my feeling like a local (I am an expat living in The Hague). The tour was so very professionally delivered, but the team have such a truly personable manner, that it felt more like walking with old friends.
Here is a more visual summary of our tour and a big thank you to Amsterdam Odyssey for revealing to me a side of Amsterdam that I had never come across before.