One of the great things about travel is seeing things you’ve never seen before. But now and then, you see something you never thought you’d see. That’s how it was with the little ballerina by the canal.
Amsterdam is a city where almost anything goes. So you’re not surprised to see shops advertising marijuana cookies, or a tourist attraction full of tiny brothels. But walking trough the city’s historic centre one day, I came upon one of those “what the heck” moments. There, in the bright morning sunshine, was a little ballerina, tutu and all, doing her thing beside one of Amsterdam’s canals.
She wasn’t taking a break from practice: in fact, she was using the railing beside the canal as a barre, standing en pointe as she did a classic pose. It was one of the oddest — though most beautiful — things I’d seen in a while, and I was quick to lift my camera and take a picture.
Only then did I twig to what was going on. Off to the side, unseen, was a photographer who also snapping shots of the little dancer. It might have been a fashion shoot, or an artsy photo feature on old Amsterdam. In either case, the mystery was solved. But it didn’t dim the image I still carry in my mind, of the ballerina by the canal.