Highlights of Amsterdam

amsterdam feature

By far the best recommendation we received for Amsterdam was from a fellow travel friend, Cristina.  She told us the Anne Frank House was a must.  I have to tell you the line was so long, if she hadn’t insisted we might have considered not going through the house.  And good thing we waited, because for us it was the best part of Amsterdam.  The line was long, but it works out because then the house isn’t packed full of people, giving you enough room to get an idea of how it felt to be in the space.

It is far different than I imagined when I read the book as a teen, in fact it was much larger than I imagined it to be.  The wonderful thing is you get to climb the exact stairs, that the Frank family climbed, so you get a true sense of what it was like (it would NEVER past code in the States).

Of course there is a heaviness about being in the space.  It is not just a museum, this was a home to real people, in one of the most horrific times in history.  There were a few moments that I almost lost my composure.  One was when an Italian father and son were walking through the house together.  We were in a hallway, walking behind them.  The son asked the father what the writing on the wall said.  It was an excerpt from Anne Frank’s diary about her learning about the gas chambers.  The father tried desperately to divert his son’s attention, understandably since he was only about 8 years old or so.  But the son was insistent.  In that moment, the tears were swelling in my eyes, how do you describe the horror to an eight year old boy?

You would like to think that touring these places, keeps history fresh in our minds, as to not repeat such things.  But genocide is still occurring all over the world.  I just don’t understand how we can do this to other human beings.

On a lighter note, we ended up meeting a couple that also met at Florida State that were touring the house…it’s a small world!

Anne Frank House

Anne Frank House

We also toured the Van Gogh museum, since he is one of my favorite artists.  It was amazing to see how much his technique transformed from his earliest years before he traveled to France.  His work started out very dark.  A big change from his classic pieces!

van gogh

 

And we did the obligatory stop at Heineken factory for my Uncle Tom, who loves those green bottles and always spoils us with green bottles when we are together.

Heineken

And the Red Light district…well how can you not walk through?  Such a moral debate, not sure what to even say here.  And pictures are not allowed, let’s just say those aren’t PG either!

 

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