Life in The Netherlands: Amsterdam in Winter with A Blue Sky 蓝天白云的荷兰首都: 阿姆斯特丹 (Part 2/3 of Amsterdam)
It was a perfect winter day. The day started beautifully with a blue sky and the sun kept me warm. I love this winter weather. Winter had relaxed its grasp on the Amsterdam city a little. There was a lack of snow in December last year, and wispy clouds raced along a blue sky. It was a fine day to go exploring. There’s nothing finer than a walk around an European city on a crispy, windy morning; things were quieter than the morning before, but the sun streamed in between the narrow houses, reflecting off calm canal waters.
The Dutch sky is well known for its beautiful clouds. The Dutch love their skies. Many famous and lesser known painters illustrated the spectacular views of the Dutch sky in their work. Personally I think that the real Dutch sky is to be seen on the fields, in the countryside (and with the obligatory windmill in the background, of course). But in the few winter days the Amsterdam sky can also be spectacular, not only for its clouds but also for its deep blue colour. These are a series of cityscape view of the canal of Amsterdam in winter with a blue sky, house boats and traditional old houses.
It’s nice, isn’t it, how the color of a blue sky, a vivid, almost artificial blue, can really only be described by the sky itself. Using the word to describe the word - sky blue – is a violation, a disordering of the ineffable dicta of language.
Underneath the blue sky, the cloudless blue sky, as a touring boat passed through the brackish waters of the canal, was exactly what I needed.
Although windy breeze, the canal ring was quite magical with changing color of the trees that line the water. The red, orange and yellow colors against a clear blue sky is stunning and from a boat they constantly move past you.
There is a popular life quote: "The sky isn’t always blue. The sun doesn’t always shine. So it is okay to fall apart sometimes, but always remember to get back up again." It's okay to fall. That's life. As long as you pick yourself back up again. It’s okay to fall, it’s okay not to be perfect all the time and it’s okay to make mistakes because at the end of the day we are all still learning and growing. It doesn’t mean that you have stepped backwards, it is just giving you the opportunity to take a step forward with a brand new perspective on life.
The low angle of the sun with the white, puffy clouds created a beautiful contrast of light and dark as the boats move under the trees and under the bridges. I can see how these clouds were the inspiration for many Dutch painters in the past.
Suddenly I noticed that there were so many different types of clouds; the low lying, flat clouds, the fluffy, cauliflower look-a-like clouds, the high, wispy clouds, and of course the dark stormy clouds that promised rain. Due to the gusty coastal winds, the amazing storm clouds disappeared just as quickly as they arrived. This forever changing backdrop seems to make the already stunning Dutch landscape that much more interesting.
The Dutch language has many names for different types of clouds. They are generally named after the objects they resemble. Cauliflower clouds, sheep clouds, anvil clouds or stacked clouds – it is easily seen why we call them the way we do.
What actually makes the light in Holland so special for it to attract generations of artists? Some say it is due to the fact that Holland has so much water to reflect light back up at the clouds. They claim that the light has changed because much of the marshy areas in Holland have been impoldered and the reflections have changed. Others say that it is the water-rich grey skies that make for a fading of hard contrast. And if the sun breaks through it seems as if the landscape is lifted up in that one place. Whatever the reason may be, the Dutch skies make for an impressive view.
I have to say I liked it when it was freezing cold as I had the most beautiful blue sky. I am just very much in love with how natural places can be so different, there are so many different landscapes. But also the colors of nature is something I get attracted to, I get really inspired by that. When I see a perfect green tree under a beautiful blue sky, it fascinates me.
I wouldn't mind if Singapore had this kind of cool weather and blue, blue sky. Living in Singapore is definitely very different to living in Amsterdam. The daily routine may be easier in Singapore, but the quality of life is not. What I like is that I have a nice way to celebrate and enjoy life in Amsterdam. I am able to just grab a coffee, sit down and stare at the blue sky.
So next time you are out and about discovering the Netherlands and all it has to offer, don’t forget to look up and admire the view, for it is constantly changing and always interesting.