Thursday, May 31, 2012

Two Cities, Day 4: Amsterdam

I arrived in Amsterdam by train on a beautiful day. My hostel was easy to find and in a beautiful neighborhood, the Jordaan district - which is the richer side of town.

Went to the Heineken Restaurant for my first dinner in the Netherlands. The first place in Europe I found that had a real veggie burger (not just a slab of lightly browned tofu)!

Because I still had much of the day left, I decided to stop at Anne Frank Huis, which is a five minute walk from the hostel.

Westerkerk, next door to Anne Frank's hiding place. 

The Frank's hiding place was at 263 Prinsengracht, the building where Otto Frank's business was located. 

The line up was around the side of the building, and only grew while I was standing there. 

No pictures were allowed, so I only got a few.

This is the bookcase and area where the Frank family and friends would enter their secret hiding place. To get in, it required a big step up and ducking. The eight people lived in the three upper floors of the building. 

I know you can't see anything, but this is where Anne and her sister, Margot, measured their heights on the wall while they were living here. 

This museum brought me to tears. It was so powerful and amazing. What this family and their friends went through to survive Nazi invasion was astonishing.

The Academy Award won for the performance of Shelley Winters as Mrs. Van Daan in The Diary of Anne Frank. She donated her Oscar to the Anne Frank Museum. 

Outside view of the house. The solid cement thing on the end is actually built around the home. It was built to protect it from bombing and damage. The rumor is that the threat of bombing comes from people who don't believe the Holocaust actually happened. 

Another view of one of the canals. 

Dessert at the hostel. A traditional Dutch thing, sadly I don't remember what it's called. It was just like vanilla pudding with some chocolate sprinkles (I don't think the sprinkles are traditional). 

The buildings were amazing! Do you see the tilt on that one red house?!

My first day in Amsterdam was quite a success. Anne Frank's hiding place really brought home the realities of Hitler's regime, which stretched much farther than Germany.

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