No matter where you live, there are marvelous things around you that you don’t see.
It’s human nature, I guess, that what begins as a spectacular view, an unforgettable scene, eventually becomes ordinary, then mundane, and finally, invisible. This is especially true for the sights we encounter on our commute. Our brains go into full-on autopilot during a daily commute (which can be a bit frightening if you drive to your job!).
I often bike to work – which requires a pretty high level of alertness and concentration – but if not, I take the #2 tram from my home to Centraal Station. This week, I’ve been on the tram more than usual. We had visitors staying with us, and other visitors at the nearby Marriott (conveniently, on the #2 line). I was looking for a restaurant near the #2 when I discovered that I live on one of the most beautiful tram lines in the world! Who knew? Well, National Geographic, apparently.
Our tram line passes the gorgeous residential architecture of the Koninginneweg, travels through Museumplein, and gives riders a quick glimpse of the gates of the Vondelpark before heading through the busy, tourist-packed Leidesplein. It cuts through the canal rings with a view of each before swinging through Spui and Dam square, ending at the imposing Centraal Station. It’s a tour through the prettiest parts of the city, but only if you look up and look around.
We’ve been fortunate to have many visitors this summer, with more still to come. It’s great to share our favorite restaurants and introduce people to the secrets of Amsterdam, but we almost always end up learning something, too. Our guests find a hidden cafe, or tell us a little-known story about Amsterdam’s history. And we’re reminded to slow down, and look around, and not take our views for granted. Because how many people can say they have one of the most beautiful commutes in the world?