The day after touring Keukenhof, we decided to go into Amsterdam and look
around. We visited the Rijksmuseum, one of the world's best art
museums, and home of 20 Rembrandt masterpieces. Since the museum was
undergoing renovations and only about one-third of the collection was
available for viewing, we didn't spend as much time as we had anticipated.
That left us just enough time to tour Amsterdam by canal, which is by far
the best way to see the city. Amsterdam lays claim to many things -
art museums (the Rijks and the Van Gogh museum are the most famous), the
Anne Frank House, a famous red-light district, among others. It has
also been called the "Venice of the North" because of the many canals, which
used to serve as the main transport routes in the city. The canal
houses face the water, and average about 6m (18ft wide). During
the Dutch "golden years", the home of the wealthy could be as large as 12m
(36 ft) wide. These days, property is so expensive that most of the
houses are owned by banks or companies, which then rent out apartments for
people to live in.