Last day in Amsterdam and arriving in Bruges

Trip Start Dec 24, 2013
Trip End Apr 24, 2014

, North Holland,
Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Today we visited the Anne Frank house which her father Otto Frank has turned into a museum. It really is an emotional place telling such a sad story. It reminded me of all those years ago when I played Ava in Kindertransport. You get to walk through the attic where they lived and go through the bookcase as they would have done. You can hear the bells ringing outside that Anne wrote about in her diary. It's amazing to think that eight people could live there. Otto Frank has requested that none of the rooms in the museum are ever filled with furniture again but you do see models which are based on his recount of what it was like. You also see Anne's famous diary. She was an extremely bright child, I had no idea she had started a novel and wrote short stories! It is sickening that the nazis were able to persecute the Jews - restricting their movements and treating them worse than animals. It chills me to think that even in this day and age people continue to actively seek out and torture people because of their beliefs, skin or sexuality. I really think that everyone should pay a visit to that museum or at least read the Diary of Anne Frank because if everyone remembers the story, maybe just maybe, we can prevent such persecution ever happening again. It's a part of our history that we should not forget.

The mood was somber in our little two pack... We were so saddened by the story behind the museum which really came to life in there. We decided to take the red bus tour to central station because of course sitting on the top of an open top bus is always fun!!

From central station we took a canal cruise. We sauntered down the canals exploring Amsterdam's waterways. It's amazing how they used dams to create Amsterdam. We passed the beautiful church named after the patron saint of seafarers St. Nicholas which they say protects the harbor. We also had to have a little kiss under the bridge which means you will be in love forever!! I really mean HAD TO because Eli has man flu aka a cold but his world is ending. The houses are really beautiful made from local bricks apparently the land here is the worst to build on because it's marsh land so they used to stick wood in the ground and build on that... No wonder some of the houses lean to the extent one street is actually commonly known as the dancing street. You can really tell the homes of the wealthy as they have intricate stone detail, this is especially true of the home of Botelli a famous architect. It was nice to see people sitting outside the little charming pubs and cafés watching the world go by.

After the river cruise we went to the "urban windmill" that was used for grain. Windmills are the most precious thing to people in Amsterdam as they were crucial in allowing them to get the water out of the dams so they could built. To be honest, I think they all look the same but I wasn't going to tell them that. From the windmill we went to Dapper St. Market which was kind of disappointing as it's meant to be where all the locals go... If it is, no one in Amsterdam is Dutch!! We stopped and had lunch in the cafe under the windmill. We had a Dutch meatball which was served with a really vinegary gravy and mustard. It was quite nice.

Our final stop was the "iamsterdam" sign. Naturally I decided to climb on it like all the other tourists and nearly broke my neck but it was a good laugh, look out for me on you've been framed (it's a funny British show when they show clips of home videos and people doing funny things). We passed vondelpark and took a couple of pictures there.

We collected our bags from the hotel and headed for our bus to the station. I then saw the bus coming towards us, the driver must have noticed the poor girl dragging her sick boyfriend, two suitcases and a backpack and took pity, he stopped and let us on. I tried to take my coffee on, got told to get rid of it so I turned round to put it outside as I did it spilt. Don't think he liked me much! We left the two coffees at the side of the road, Fingers crossed a homeless person finds them before they are run over by a bike.

We got to the station and boarded the train to Brussels. The train staff are so lovely and moved us in to our own carriage with eight seats and no one else in there. I hope the man flu isn't contagious. We finally arrived at our hotel. The weather in Bruges is pretty horrible. We were liked drowned rats when we found the hotel, note to self never take a google map on paper into the rain it doesn't end well. The hotel is nice and we have just been for dinner at De Poulin Kipkroeg. We had local Belgium beer and chicken. My beer was quite sweet and Eli's was similar but bitter.

In conclusion, Amsterdam is pretty with lots of beautiful buildings. We would definitely go back in the future in the summer time to see more of the museums and the canals as I imagine they are full of hustle and bustle. I must confess I will not miss the bicycles. The people ride them thinking they are kings of the road... I have had to save Eli's life several times as they law to themselves and he had a thing for stepping into the path of the trams. Joking aside - we are having an amazing adventure so far.
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Randi on

I am so impressed at how much you've seen so far! I've never seen so many bicycles. Man flu -- I cracked up when I read that! I'm going to start using that phrase. Glad you've kept Eli safe, tell him I hope he feels better.

Kelli on

So far this has been such an amazing adventure to read about. I can't wait to see the rest! Happy travels through France and happy heart Day!

Mum on

I'm sure it must have been really emotional when you went to see Ann Franks house. Memories of Kinder Transport Vic. Sounds as though you're both having a great time.

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