This is my second visit to Amsterdam so I was prepared for the beauty. I was not, however, prepared for the volume of rubbish on the streets.
To be fair, we arrived on the 1st May, the day after Queen’s Day when the streets are filled with revellers celebrating Queen Beatrix’s birthday (actually, it’s the birth date of the previous queen, her mother).
As I walked around the old city that day and the next, I saw only three crews of two or three people sweeping up. I could not imagine how they could clear the litter from an entire city before it found its way into the canals and out into the sea to join the rest of the world’s waste making its way into the stomachs of marine animals.
Maybe they did, maybe they didn’t but within a few days, the streets were back to baseline – which means paper, plastic and glass still loiter, but in much smaller quantities. Smokers still labour under the misapprehension that cigarette butts are part of the natural environment and can be thrown on the ground without causing harm or looking awful.
The mobile men’s toilets were removed within a few days.
But there are a number of permanent ones if you’re caught short.
There is much to be seen around the canals.