I got back from a fantastic few days in Amsterdam at about 2am this morning. Weather notwithstanding, Amsterdam is a beautiful city, and we had a really great time.
We stayed at Durty Nelly’s on the Warmoesstraat, which had loads of hot water, and very comfy beds!! It was about a five minute walk in one direction to Amsterdam Centraal Station, and five minutes the other way to Dam Square. I learnt that the difference between Holland and The Netherlands is that Holland isn’t actually even a country (North and South Holland are provinces in The Netherlands), when I thought that it was just different names for the same place.
The Anne Frank House was definitely worth the early morning to beat the queues, but it was so sad. The rooms were stripped by the SS after the families were arrested, and they’ve been left empty, as they were. The annexe was so tiny, you can’t imagine how eight people lived so crammed into 75 square metres for so long. It was a bit eerie to see the pencil marks on the wall showing how tall Anne and her sister Margot were, and Anne’s posters still glued to her bedroom wall. Anne died of typhus in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp a month before it was liberated. It’s so sad that she survived for so long, hidden in the annexe for more than two years, then sent to forced labour at Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen, and that she died days after her sister, believing that everyone she knew, everyone she cared about, was dead and she was the last one. She would have been free a month later. There are some pictures of the house on the Anne Frank House Flickr, here.
We visited the Van Gogh Museum too, and decided that Van Gogh should have stuck to landscapes and flowers, because people (other than himself) were really not his strong point. He decided, as an unemployed 26-year old, to become an artist, with no background in drawing or painting. When I finish uni, I might do that. “Today, I’m going to be an artist.” Haha.
We took pictures at the iamsterdam sign, and went to the Hard Rock Cafe for an enormous lunch and cocktails. We walked around De Wallen, the red light district, and tried not to stare at the women in the windows too much. We went to the Erotic Museum (which wasn’t as good as the one in Paris), and we got stuck to our mattresses. We made it up the crazy Dutch staircases. We went shopping at the Nine Streets, had mulled wine at the “Winterland”, and drank a LOT of iced tea. Totally converted.
We had such a good time, and now the next thing to do is to choose where to venture off to next!! xx