Day 1 (Friday Sept 18) -
I flew in at 7:30 AM. The flight felt short mostly because I slept the whole time. I spent the next two hours rearranging my luggage so I could store all my Africa stuff in a locker. I checked on the train situation and then waited for Chloe to show up. I was looking forward to seeing her.
From the airport we headed to our hostile: Shelter Jordan Christian Hostel in the Jordaan. It was super clean and the people were very friendly. They even had bible study every night but unfortunately we were so tired we missed it.
After we dropped our luggage we let Rick Steve’s take us on a tour of the city. We had fries with mayonnaise, watched some magicians at Dam Square, went to the Amsterdam History Museum, people watched at Leidseplein square (the random old man walking around in a thong…sorry no pictures), walked along the flower market, went into some shops that sold lots of illegal drugs (legal in Amsterdam), and toured the Rijksmuseum filled with Rembrandt’s, Verneer’s, Steen’s, and more. It was about 6:30 PM by that point and Chloe and I were about to collapse with jetlag. We decided to head back to the hostile for an early retirement.
Day 2 (Saturday Sept 19)-
After getting almost 12 hrs of sleep we were much more alert and ready for another memorable day in Amsterdam. This place is so fun. The city is built around canals so almost every block you cross a little bridge. There are bikers everywhere. Everyone bikes. I was informed of that before I came but didn’t realize the extent of what that meant. There are bikes everywhere. It’s crazy. There are even car seats in the front of bikes for little children. You have to be super careful so as not to get hit by one of the bicyclists.
We started the day off by taking a tour of the Van Gogh museum. It was incredible. I love his paintings and couldn’t believe I was standing right in front of his originals. I so desperately wanted to steal the Sunflowers painting and bring it home with me but knew I didn’t have enough room in my luggage for it. Chloe and I keep having to remind ourselves that this isn’t a dream. We feel so lucky to be able to be here experiencing it all. What a blessing.
After the museum we headed to the Anne Frank home. This was a sobering experience. I’ve never read the book (surprise, surprise) but I sure did buy one after going through her house. We saw the actual room where she slept with markings on the wall showing how much she and her sister had grown. We saw the actual diary that she wrote in and other writings she had. Below is a picture of the bookcase that hid the entrance to the Franks living quarters and a picture of the home where she lived.
The rest of the day was spent wandering around the quiet suburb of Jordaan, dodging bikes, admiring canals, going through random doors that lead to beautiful courtyards, and enjoying the ambience of Amsterdam.