Amsterdam 3

Today, I went to the Anne Frank House. Hard to believe that eight people lived in that cramped space for two years. I read her book when I was young, and I liked her immediately. It was a very sobering experience. It took place in the neighborhood I’m staying in.

I took a canal cruise afterwards. The water must have soothed me because I returned to my hotel and took an hour nap. My vacation is making me tired. LOL! There were some really nice shots to be taken. I can’t wait to see my pictures.

Then I went to the Amsterdam History Museum. Afterwards, just walked around. Today, is my last day touring. There is a point in my vacations when I am horribly homesick. This happened very early this vacation. Now that it’s over, I wouldn’t mind another day or two to just chill and walk around.

The weather on my trip started off bad – really bad. It got better and my last day here is absolutely perfect. No rain. Mild fall weather. Beautiful! To think I wanted to come home early. Yes, the rain has ended and the future doesn’t look as bleak as it did.

I’m not sure if I mentioned this, but I went to Dam Square yesterday. It was pretty chaotic with people and rides. It’s where the city started in 1250.

I got reminded of the Acts of Mercy through the art I saw. It’s a good reminder to get over myself already.

– Giving food, drink, and clothing to the needy
– Sheltering the homeless
– Caring for the Sick
– Visiting those in prison
– Burying the dead

Anyway, in 24 hours, I will be home bound! Pray for me.

XOXO

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!

Amsterdam

Yesterday morning, I left Brugge behind and took the train to Amsterdam. The question of Brussels was settled for me as the train went through Antwerp again! So Brussels next trip!

I got to my hotel and settled in. I went for a walk to figure out where I was in location to the places I planned on visiting today. Had to scout out the area! I am staying in the Jordaan district, which is so picture perfect. I love Amsterdam. It’s right up there with Dublin. If it wasn’t for my plan to meet some nice Irish boy, import him into the U.S., send him to A.A., and marry him, I might just like Amsterdam better. LOL.

Got up this morning and hit the pavement. My hotel is close enough to walk to the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh so I took off that way. I overshot the museum to go to the De Pijp District. It was cool. There are a few streets that are basically an open air market. Lot’s of people and tables of things ranging from clothes to meat to seafood to nuts to cheese.

Then off to the Rijksmuseum which covered everyone from Rembrandt, Hals, Vermeer, and Steen. There is a square called Museumplein that I walked through before going to the Van Gogh. There were some Monets and Manets and artists who inspired him as well as his works.

I had three or four more museums I intended to see, but now not so sure. Will def see Anne Frank House. It’s actually very near where I am saying. Like three or four minutes away. The others may have to wait until the next time.

I also walked through Vondelpark, which is Amsterdam’s central park. I basically spent around an hour just taking it all in. It’s beautiful. The leaves are fall colors and quite picture perfect.

My final stop today was Leidseplein which has cafes and restaurants. I can imagine it brimming over on a summer day.

I had intended to visit Haarlam Friday. I still have a day of site seeing tomorrow. I may just sleep in on Friday and spend my last day walking around exploring the different canals. The pictures may or may not all look like they are the same street but they are different.

It’s very peaceful here. The fall weather isn’t so bad. Still some rain, but I think I’m getting used to it!