Canals, Diamonds and Anne Frank

Trip Start Jun 24, 2010
Trip End Jul 12, 2010

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Flag of Netherlands  , Noord-Holland,
Saturday, June 26, 2010

Today was a delightful surprise because this was my third visit to Amsterdam so | wasn't expecting much (plus there would be no visit to the Red Light District!), but we ended up doing a variety of activities that were all new to me.  It was interesting that there was so much for me to see that I hadn't before.

There was a funny moment when we all stopped to buy bottled waters and the kids were starttled when they opened their bottles and experienced carbonated water for the first time as it sprayed all over them.  I enjoyed this as it became one of many moments in which students experienced new cutoms and culture and I got to share it through them again.  However, throughout the trip it was humorous to hear the students' humor with the locals' customs, but yet they were completely blind to their own misconceptions.

We began the day with a walk through the canals and streets on our way to visit the flower market located alongside the canals.  There was booth after booth of vendors selling flowers.  Natually the students all enjoyed the weed starter kits.  The students had a difficult time walking the streets with so many bicycles to contend with.

Later we visited a diamond factory.  We learned how a rough stone is cut and shaped into the final product.

For lunch we did the American tourist thing and went to the Hard Rock of Amsterdam for hamburgers.  Nothing says Amsterdam like hamburgers and coca cola at the Hard Rock.

Next we took a canal cruise.  This was another new activity for me and I enjoyed the architecture of the buildings we passed on the river.

For dinner we had a traditional meal wtih something resembling a meat ball in a carrot mashed potato.

Later we visited Anne Frank's house.  Anne was originally born in Frankfurt, Germany in 1929.  In 1933 when Adolf Hitler came to power with the Nazi party, Anne's parents, Otto and Edith, moved the family to the Netherlands.  Anne's family lived there safely until the Nazis occupied the Netherlands in 1940.  Their family's secret hiding place was in the annex of the building.  Inside the home we could still see the famous bookcase that hid the entrance to the secret annex.  In the end, Anne and her family were captured.  Anne died at Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1945.  Anne's diary was first published in Dutch in 1947, but today it has been published in over 60 languages.
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