To say Amsterdam has plenty of bridges is an understatement, it's nearly impossible to glance in any direction and not see one spanning a body of water. Erin and I spent lots of time treading upon those marvelous structures that seem to defy time, constant wave of people, and harsh weather conditions. The archways are as diverse and unique as the people residing in the city itself, we roamed freely in exploration of the canals often stopping to admire the scenic view of this magical place. Standing at the apex of a bridge Erin shoved her head through the metal slats to watch boats of all sizes pass below while a mother duck with young floated by oblivious to the hazel eyes peering down from above. Up and over we marched onward as the oppressive heat beat down upon the city, the soaring temperature forced me to take frequent rest breaks to allow Erin the opportunity to cool down with refreshing water and time in the shade. It was never difficult to locate an oasis in the desert as a cafe, tourist shop, or expanse of trees was usually nearby and they provided the perfect spot to recuperate before continuing.
The city took on a different aura after sunset, the bright white lights outlining the bridges reflected off the water below while houseboats and tour boats announced their position with multi-colored bulbs. The crowd thinned considerably as folks retreated indoors for the evening while I saw this as another chance to bond with Erin thus we strolled about without an itinerary, she led the way in sniffing out objects of interest and greeting neighborhood dogs. Stopping for a cappuccino or some tasty treat from the ever-present food kiosks we continued our assault on the city including the Red Light District which was illuminated in every color under the rainbow. This notorious well-known district was quickly toured with little fanfare and then we wandered into other areas more suitable for a guy and dog including Chinatown, boat harbor, and museum quarter. Back at the hotel with Erin lying next to me sleep came quickly as the accumulated miles began to take their toll but there would be little rest as tomorrow was another hectic day.
The Anne Frank house is undoubtedly one of the most popular tourist destinations in Amsterdam and the line that winds down the street is a testament to that fact. With Erin at my side we headed in that direction to take a look at the exterior of the famous building but not before stopping to admire the remarkable architecture of nearby gabled houses and historic churches. I expected a large crowd but the afternoon swarm exceeded my expectations but this served Erin's purpose as we meandered down the street to the delight of those who wanted to say "hello." Eagerly she welcomed attention from children and adults alike; strokes, hugs, and compliments were the order of the day as we hung near the Anne Frank statue and entranceway. Loitering became the theme as we socialized with tourists from across the globe while their reaction was always one of surprise or delight as they discovered my travel companion is a sightseeing dog from America. Eventually it was time to move on but not before I asked someone to snap a pic of us in front of Anne's door, that photo is memorable because Erin became distracted and spun around hence the rear end shot :)