Amsterdam from the air

Last updated 19:00 BST.

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Channel delays: none reported currently.

Weather alerts: Amber alert ‘coastal event’ north Spain; heavy rain Austria/Slovenia and high winds Estonia.

Weather: Fine across the south, but rain central.

See Travel/Traffic/Weather for more.

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Amsterdam: a Google Earth pic

Amsterdam from the west. It would be great if these were all roads – joke – but these dark circles around Amsterdam are of course canals: four concentric half rings of waterways surrounding the inner city, starting and finishing at the IJ bay across the top. It’s a practical and defensive arrangement rather than ornamental, planned and built in its entirety in the 17th century. Car use is strictly controlled through the price of parking, well over €1,000/month in central areas for residents, nudging €50 per day for tourists. With the needs of cyclists – fietsers – uppermost in the mind at all times, and trams and buses, actually driving around is fun and challenging: the railings around the ends of the canals are often so encrusted with bikes it makes manoeuvring tricky.

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