Another day in Amsterdam
Amsterdam Travel Blog› entry 25 of 47 › view all entries
Saturday the day started a little early. Woke up at 8am to have some breakfast at the hotel before loading back into the coach for a little sight seeing outside the city.
First stop was a little tourist-trap of a place where you learned all about Holland stereotypes. ;p First was a little demo about cheese making, with a tasting and chance to buy afterwards. Pretty yummy. Next we learned about clogs. However, about 10 people on our tour of nearly 50 were from Brazil, and somehow since they were in the front they had the clog maker speak to us in Portuguese, despite some of the rest of us shouting out "English please!" It was quite rude of the Brazilians, I and many others thought. What if I really had a sincere interest in clogs?! The best part was the baby donkey out back.
David and I decided that the one thing we really wanted to do was see the Anne Frank Huis and other than that we were going to wing it. Also, my friend Marit from summer camp used to live in Amsterdam and had to come back to pick up her bike from the train station so she decided to come for a visit! We were supposed to meet her at 1:30, but 2pm rolled around and no word. I texted her and she called and said she was there but had had to look for the pieces of her bike! :x She found them all, no worries.
Once we finally met up with her, we decided to head over to this place my Lonely Planet guide recommended for lunch, the Pancake Bakery. OH MY GOSH, the Dutch do pancakes right. And the odd thing is is that pancakes there are not a breakfast food, but more of a lunch/dinner food, and its a strange thing to have them in the morning. These pancakes were legend! The size of a dinner plate!! Somewhat thin by our standards but yummy all the same, and they have a plethera of toppings, from apples and Grand Marnier to Chorizo and cheese, whatever you're in the mood for. Plus there is this syrup that you put on top, not too unlike maple syrup, but really just boiled sugar and very tasty! I had the ham and cheese one and could not finish the last 1/4th of it but I was a champ to that point.
After lunch we walked around for a bit. Marit showed us some of the sites, pointed out a lot of great places, and we had some amazing ice cream. She also told us a bit about different areas of the city which was a real great little tour - I feel like we should have tipped her afterwards, lol!
Oh, she also introduced us to this amazing Dutch creation - the vending machine fast food restaurant and croquets (sp?). Basically, it is this fast food place where they dispense the items through little windows that you place your change into, open them up, and retrieve your food. I know this sounds hideous but its not what you're thinking; the food is fresh and hot and very tasty. We had a croquet that tasted like... I don't know.
Around 7pm David and I decided to get in line for the Anne Frank Huis, pretty much the only spot we really wanted to see that day. Other than that we had been really content just walking around. Said goodbye to Marit and hopped in the HUUUUUGE que. This is pretty much the only museum open late and for a good reason; if it weren't the ques would be absolutely ridiculous. Anyway, this is the house were Anne Frank, her family, and some of their friends hid from the Nazis before being betrayed and taken away to the camps. Its very moving. One of those things that reminds you to love your fellow man, and when you leave you feel on the verge of tears and that you just want to be held for a bit.
The rooms are unfurnished but you are given a pretty good picture of what it was like. It was absolutely tiny! I can't believe how long that many people were able to hide out for without being discovered, and their only downfall was an anonymous tipster who has never been identified for sure. :( Plus, there were several video interviews being played with people who helped hide them, as well as with Otto Frank, the only survivor from the annex.
Afterwards we rested a bit and went out for coffee again. We didn't need to eat anything else because those pancakes were still in our stomachs! Walked around a bit more before heading back to the hotel for the night.
All and all Amsterdam is really a wonderful city. No need for the drugs, there's so much more to explore and enjoy! I wish we had more time there but I don't feel like we wasted any of it. A very good few days.
Next: On to Bruges!