Amsterdam 2/Haarlem

Today has been full of activity!

I got up and somehow ended up at Central Station on my way to Haarlem. Not sure how. LOL. Actually, I decided to do a test run to the Central Station to see how long it would take me to get there by tram.

In Haarlem, I went to Grote Kerk Church. The original church burned in a fire in 1328. The church standing was built over a 150-year period (1390 to 1540). It’s quite beautiful. The ceilings are high and the space seems quite gigantic.

I also went to the Frans Hals Museum. There were some interesting pieces in there. It was actually refreshing to be there because I could actually study the works in peace. The museums yesterday were so crowded and congested. It was actually frustrating at times. So there were a lot of pieces that were showing the poor and peasants drunk or acting of pocket. They were reminders to the rich to be somber. It was a contrast to some of the works I saw yesterday that tried to show the struggles the poor faced. The hunger, the lack of shelter, the sadness, etc. There were also some pieces about the vanity of life and no matter how young you are death is coming. Life is fleeting. When I was there I kept wondering if it would be vain to have a large portrait of myself painted. LOL. With technology, I don’t have to worry about people “remembering” me.

I walked around the city, which is def more quiet and then took the train back to Amsterdam. I went to the Red Light District because there were two places I wanted to go to there. There was Old Church (Oude Kerk). Construction began in the 1300s and lasted 300 years. I also wanted to go to the Amstelkring Museum, which is where Our Lord in the Attic was. Between 1578 and 1795 Catholics were not allowed to openly have worship services. The church was built in a townhouse and Catholics could worship there in secret.

I had to walk in the Red Light District to see all this. I’m not easily shocked. I smelled pot, yes, but I also smell it downtown Seattle while waiting for my bus. Yeah, there were sex shops. The thing that bothered me the most was how the women were “displayed”.” They were in these narrow alleyways and in windows. Some windows were shut so I assumed the person was with a customer. It was very sad, actually. What do you want to be when you grow up?

I also went to the New Church, which is 600 years old and 100 years younger than the old church mentioned above.

Tomorrow is my last day of sightseeing. Saturday morning, I head to the airport for my 1:50 p.m. flight home. I need to go to the Anne Frank House. I might take in a canal cruise, which should be lovely!

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