I loved the wonderful city of Amsterdam so much, I could let this post go on for ever, but I'll try to keep myself under control. It's not the first time I've been there, but it was the first time as an adult and without children.
I think the best thing is to let the pictures speak for themselves. If you click on any, you will be taken to a larger version on Flickr. Some of the links are written in Dutch but as they are part of the Amsterdam Heritage site (one of the best I have come across) I have included them, partly becasue you can guess quite a lot of what they are saying, and partly because of the great illustrations.
Views of the carefully planned canals
Wonderful buildings with their variously shaped gables.
Tiles in unexpected places
In the Vijff Vlieghen restaurant cloakroom
Other historic buildings
The former stock exchange, the Beurs van Berlage. The clock says "Bide your time".
The Weigh House, the oldest secular building in Amsterdam, designed as a city gate and part of the mediaeval defences, now houses a café.
The Weeping Tower, the small building in front of the Sint Nicolaaskerk, was also once part of the city defences. It's now a restaurant and bar.
Although it's only a fraction, that's probably enough to show you how much there is in Amsterdam. I know I'm repeating myself, but it's a wonderful city.
We found the people wonderful too. Everywhere they were friendly and welcoming (and there must just as many tourists as there are in Paris). It was noticeable that even taxi drivers (I learnt something - they have blue number plates) were meticulous in making sure that they gave way to cyclists, and cyclists gave way to pedestrians with a smile, even when they were wandering round without a clue as to where they were.
Two questions before I finish:
Can anyone explain the unusual (to me) traffic light system?
And does anyone know the significance of this trompe d'oeuil "bridge" over one of the smaller canals?
You definitely must click on this to see what it's about :)