Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Dad and Mom in Amsterdam

Our bus to Amsterdam left a little before 7am, so we didn't get much sleep. Apparently, I caught up on the bus ride over. We got to the city a liiittle before 11 in the morning. Carson didn't join us in the Netherlands because he had to help out with a conference, so I played tour guide this time around.

The Flixbus station is located at Amsterdam Sloterdijk Station, but it's an easy train trip to Amsterdam Centraal Station. We figured out the ticket machines and purchased three one way tickets in.

Amsterdam Centraal Station.

Our first stop was in a cheese shop. There are so many cheese stores in Amsterdam, and we plowed through samples of all different kinds!

We also visited a store full of Delft ware, much to Mom's delight.

Royal Palace

I didn't ID these people coming from the palace, but they looked relatively important, so here's a picture.

After looking at our options, we grabbed a quick lunch of what we thought were hot dogs in croissants, but the meat sort of resembled bologna in texture, so it wasn't that great. We had some time to kill before heading over to the Anne Frank House, so we wandered slowly and made our way there. It was a hot day!

The Westerkerk, the church located right next to the Anne Frank House.

Anne Frank statue outside the Westerkerk.

We had tickets to visit the Anne Frank House at 2pm, and though we arrived early, we weren't allowed to join the line until right at 2. I'm so glad we had tickets, because the general admission for the museum opens at 3:30pm and people begin lining up over two hours before! The Anne Frank house was worth visiting (this was my second time - I went in 2009 also), but I'd definitely hate to waste my time in Amsterdam by hanging out in a line for two hours!

No pictures are allowed inside, but the museum was of course sobering. We received an audio guide that talked us through each room. There were displays telling about the lives of those hidden in the house for two years, the lives of the people who helped them, a history of Amsterdam during WWII, and of course the fate of those who were in the "annex". Even though the story itself didn't have a good ending, there is a lot of emphasis on the impact The Diary of Anne Frank had, and her influence that has endured for generations. It's not a happy place, but it is good and I'm glad we went again!

Here's the line when we left. It was over 80 degrees and I was thankful to not be standing in a line for two hours in that!

We loved this little guy just dozing in the sunshine by a cafe.

We made a bit of a hike over to the "I Amsterdam" sign outside the Rijksmuseum, where we were clearly the only people there. The outtakes of this photo include several where people are walking in front and totally blocking our faces.

We sat on the grass across from the Rijksmuseum, next to the Van Gogh Museum. We didn't visit any museums, just hung out on their grass.

Our next stop as we walked back to the train station was the Bloemenmarkt, or flower market. They have lots of flowers (obviously) and also tons of touristy trinkets for sale.

I still can't get over the tiny cars in Europe.

Once we made it to the Station, we grabbed our luggage (we'd stored it in the baggage area for the day - it was much easier than lugging it all over the place, but getting our credit cards to work in their machine was a bit tricky) and found a ticket machine, where we bought three one way tickets to Haarlem. It was about a 15 or 20 minute train ride over there, and from the station there, it was maybe a ten minute walk to our hotel.

St. Bavo Church in Haarlem. We ran out of time the next day to explore, and although it doesn't look like evening in these pictures, it was about 8pm so the church was closed. I remember it being massive and beautiful though!

Our hotel is the one I stayed in when I came in 2009. It's the Amadeus Hotel and it's right on Grote Markt! You can see it here - the one with the Heineken sign on top.

After we'd dropped our bags in our rooms, we went in search of dinner. It was such a nice day, that every restaurant had what looked like hundreds of people eating outside. It was definitely lively outdoors!

We started out outside at a French (I think?!) restaurant, but it got a bit chilly so we moved indoors, where we almost had the place to ourselves, being some of the only guests to prefer indoor seating. Mom had a salad, Dad had steak, and I had one of the best roasted chickens I've ever had, with some amazing roasted veggies. We passed on dessert because we were so full!

We turned in early that night. Mom and Dad's room was overlooking the street, while mine was facing the fire escape. They had a better view, but the noise and lights from the street kept them awake.
I liked the hotel keys!

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