I Think I Canal I Think I Cannibis I Think I Camsterdam
Today was our last day in Amsterdam. I will most likely be going back this summer on my bike tour. I don’t feel like I got enough exploring done and I love it there!
We started off the day at Rijksmuseum. It is one of the most famous and visited museums in Amsterdam. It relays the history of the Netherlands through works of famous painters and artists over many eras.
I really want to like art museums. I feel like I should. But I don’t. Viewing hundreds of paintings and reading a little placard at each is just not how I like to learn. I found a few paintings I did like, but overall I just scanned each room to get a basic feel for what was there.
After the museum, we had just enough time to do a boat ride through the canals before our train to Paris.
This was my favorite activity. I love boats. I love water. I love crazy architecture. I love beautiful scenery. And most importantly I love bringing the map to life by exploring and gaining an understanding of a city’s geography.
We cruised through a few canals: Prinsengracht, the IJ Lake and the Amstel River. Along the way we listened to commentary remarking the history of the city and the sites we were passing. There was also some weird banter between the narrators, an old married couple named Nel and Ron. I hope Ron eventually books their anniversary at the Amstel Hotel. Jeesh Ron, come on.
Overall, the canal tour was relaxing and gorgeous and I would love to live in Amsterdam and cruise around on a little boat on the (rare) sunny days. Amsterdam is a great city with a warm, friendly, and progressive attitude. As long as you don’t get maimed by a cyclist, it’s a pretty awesome place!
I’m not sure why I chose to live in Paris out of all of the European cities, but oh well. More adventures to come!
I am in Amsterdam. With my family whom I haven’t seen in 9 months.
It’s nice to see them again, but the best part is that I don’t have to be a poor traveler for a few days! I’m not payin’!
Although, nothing in life is free, as I have learned. They might be footing the bill, but dealing with Mrs. Type A an Mr. “I don’t really like anything” (mom and dad) is a bit difficult.
But you know, I love them and it’s nice to have a family again.
My traveling style is usually to go with the wind, be open minded and see what happens. Whereas my mother likes to plan everything down to the second, which involves a lot of running. But since I do try to be adaptive, I guess this weekend I will be….type A.
At least I will see a lot…
Yesterday we walked around to get a taste of the neighborhoods- canals, bikes and canals. We enjoyed a leisurely lunch at an outdoor cafe. I was trying to teach my family the importance of slowing down, enjoying mealtime and just relaxing at a cafe instead of running. Americans are always on the run…well that’s the stereotype at least. And I guess we are American no matter how hard I try to fight it.
Then we went to the Van Gogh museum. It was interesting to go there with my mom. I never realized, despite having prints of Gogh’s paintings all over our house, that she was such a fan. I guess I should have made that connection. But it was cool to see the real versions of what I grew up staring at.
I was with my mom and my brother and we found this beautiful painting of a sailboat on bright blue water., Seascape nes Les Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer. The one in our living room. She got really excited and started calling through the busy museum crowd for my dad. And then the guy standing a foot away, in front of the painting turned around. It was my dad.
Ah, family times.
After Van Goghing, we Van Left and circled some more canals towards the Anne Frank House. There was a long line, but thanks to Mrs. Type A, we had tickets reserved ahead of time and just walked in. (Pros and cons).
Growing up Jewish, Anne’s story definitely was a part of my childhood. And she eerily looks like my mother.
The secret annex where they hid was larger than I expected. But it was still so small. It is hard to imagine spending years in a dark, small place being silent and only moving around when the workers weren’t at the office below.
I love how the museum used quotes from the diary to connect parts of the house to her story. One quote on a replica of the blacked out curtains (creating an eternal nighttime in the annex) said “I long to ride a bike, dance, whistle, look at the world, feel young and know that I’m free.” I live that quote everyday and it is a horrible injustice that her or anyone was ever or has been ever deprived of that right. In addition to being deprived of the right to live, of course.
My favorite part of the house was reading about the network of helpers who supported the hiding families from the outside. They are all heroes, who weren’t acting to be labeled as “heroic” - only to do what they knew was right at the risk of their own lives. It is important to remember the good against the sea of horrible. The world is full of good people, the problem is, the evil sometimes make the most noise.
After the powerful visit to Anne Frank’s House, we had a nice Nepalese dinner. Then a family friend who is au pairing here joined my brother and me in wandering around the Red Light District, observing the…exciting atmosphere of “Europe’s Las Vegas.”