My trusty steed – a classic Dutch omafiets, as basic as can be
(no gears, but thankfully also no hills :)

Although I have lived in Amsterdam for ± two and a half years, and even though it is a very compact city relative to many others, there are still plenty of parts of it I am not familiar with. And so there are few things more simply rewarding than going for a leisurely, exploratory bike ride, with no fixed destination and no purpose beyond finding something or somewhere new and ‘taking it all in’ (and bicycle travel is the perfect way to do this with the ‘best of both worlds’ that it allows: you can move relatively long distances relatively quickly – as with car travel – but you also get to stop and smell the proverbial roses – as with walking).

These pics were taken last Sunday morning, when the sun was shining with unbridled magnificence, and just such a bike ride seemed like the perfect thing to do. We discovered a graffiti treasure trove (both in terms of quantity and, for the most part, quality), with a mind-boggling array of colours and lots of lovely, peeling-paint textures…

And we encountered lots of burgeoning, growing things (I was particularly happy to meet these young coots being fed elevenses by their mum and dad in one of the city’s canals).

(It has been wet and grey again in Amsterdam these past few days so it’s good to revisit all this light and colour)