September 8th – 12th, 2013
After an eight hour flight, we arrive in Amsterdam. After settling into our beautiful hotel called Amstel Hotel, we decided to take a walk around the city to get familiar with it.
The next day we had plans to visit the Anne Frank Huis. I read her story when I was younger in school, so I was excited to see the house in person. This house was the 17th-century canalside home where young Jewish girl Anne Frank and her family hid for two years during World War II. Today it’s one of the most popular attractions in Amsterdam, with almost a million visitors a year. Luckily we went first thing in the morning, so it wasn’t crowded. Having fled from persecution in Germany in 1933, Anne, her sister Margot, their parents and four other Jews went into hiding on 5 July 1942. The eight people lived on the upper floors of this annexe behind Prinsengracht 263; a bookcase marks the entrance to the sober, unfurnished rooms. But on 4 August 1944, the occupants were arrested and transported to concentration camps, where Anne died with Margot and their mother. Her father, Otto, survived, and decided that Anne’s diary should be published. In 1960, the hiding place was made into a museum.
The people in hiding have to stay twenty-four hours a day indoors. The curtains of the annexe are always kept closed, so the neighbors cannot see them. During the day, when the warehousemen are working downstairs, everyone has to sit still and not make a sound. Just reading this makes me think of how stressful and scary that situation must have been.
After visiting the Anne Frank House, we decided to take a walk around the city and have fresh mint tea while looking at The Waag, which is a 15th-century building on Nieuwmarkt square in Amsterdam. It was originally a city gate and part of the walls of Amsterdam.
The next few days we just hung out around the city and walked through the famous red light district which was wild.
September 11, 2013, Today is our last day to enjoy Amsterdam we decided to take the train to Zaandam which is where all the wind mills are it’s a place called Zaanse Schans. Unfortunately, it was raining so some of the pictures didn’t come out well but that is the typical weather at the time of year we were there. We went into a few of the open windmills and saw how they worked it was incredible to see it work.
The one thing I can tell you about Amsterdam is that you have to be careful of the bicycles on the street and on the side walk. When walking out of any building look before you pop out, they are all over the place, and no rules apply.
Follow us on our journey our next destination is London.