One is always wary of tourist traps when abroad. There’s nothing worse than an overpriced lazy excuse for a tour, showing you sights that you could have discovered for yourself; moving all too quick from the sights that you’re interested in and lingering far too long on those you find boring and uninteresting. There’s always some British family with a little shit of a son constantly exclaiming his boredom in a whiney tone somehow perfectly pitched to drown out the tour guide; always the obligatory loud American in small, medium and/or large; always a herd of overenthusiastic Japanese down the back, not understanding all but the odd word and then exclaiming in unison: “Tarn hall? Tarn hall! Ohhhhh, Tarn haaaall” and snapping profusely on their cameras.

But the canal tour is totally different. It is interesting and informative, a fantastic and unique tour of most of the best sites in the city and viewed from a vantage that you’re not going to get elsewhere.

It takes its time, an hour in all, and is also a slow relaxing break from the tourist-thronged streets. It helps, of course, that it’s a fantastically sunny day and I spend the well timed long gaps between the tour guides speaches just draped over the edge of the boat, admiring the various sights as they drift by (a fact which I later regret a little when my left arm; my draping arm; comes out in a bright neon-redish hue)

We pass one of the royal yachts, floating out in front of the palaces. Our tour guide informs us that the flag is raised so the queen must be on board. A group of people are out on the deck of the yacht.

Probably one of the nicest areas is the route along the Overgarden oven Vandet. Beautiful boats line the canal at both sides and people everyone is out, enjoying the sunny day as they lie along the piers. This girl sits out with her coffeemaker absorbing the sun.

People generally wave as you pass (seemingly not yet bored at the constant passing water traffic) As we pass the royal library we mingle with the many people out on the river, boats of all shapes and sizes.

I love this boat with it’s own little built in chess set. What an afternoon that would be.

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