Day 6 - Amsterdam (part 2)

Amsterdam Travel Blog

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Today was my last day to travel and I wanted to go somewhere where I would be able to watch the world cup match or at least somewhere where I would be able to get back in time. After juggling a few places and talking with the person at the hotel I decided to go back to Amsterdam and go to all the places we didnt go, which I found out was a lot. Plan was to leave Antwerp at 9 and leave Amsterdam at 6.

Once I got to Amsterdam the first thing I did was rent a bike. When talking with the person from our hotel I found out there was a really nice park on the side south side of Amsterdam that had trails you could take out of the city. That was my mission.

Well I got detoured and stopped at the town square and watched a few street performers.

church next to Anne Frank Museum
I learned that they all are the same, they ride a unicycle, juggle and have tacky jokes but it was like a car accident, I couldnt stop watching.

Then I headed to the park stopping at a flower market that everyone was talking about and ate lunch. This was pretty interesting, it was kind of like the farmer's market but just for flowers.

Once I got to the park I found a place to camp out and rest. I took a little snooze and read my book. By the time I was done riding around the park I had to head to the station to get home. The only thing was, I got on the wrong train and didnt realize it for about 25 minutes. The only way for me to get back was through Rotterdam, which wasnt very close to Antwerp. Then when I got to Rotterdam I had to wait an hour until the next train. So sadly I sat and watched all the Netherlands fans get off the train to go watch the match and I had to sit on the train during the whole match almost. I made it back to the hotel to see them win though!

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Anne Frank Museum

Now what would Europe be without a trip to Amsterdam? We hopped on the train from Antwerp Central straight to Amsterdam, took about two hours. It was a really fun way to see the countryside that we would have never saw. Also me a couple that were MADLY in love on the train. Making out and whispering sweet nothings into each other's ears the whole time. They were speaking English and I could tell it was American English so between him telling her that he "would never leave her for the rest of his life" and her telling him how many kids she wanted, I asked where in the states they were from. I found out that they were from Wisconsin and they just graduate high school a few weeks ago.

Anne Frank Museum

When arriving to Amsterdam we found that it is similar to some of the other places that we have been but extremely crowded. Once we got onto a main street it was pretty hard to figure out where we were going so I buckled under Erin's pure pressure and bought a city map, which in the long run I am glad we got. Now we could at least see how the city was made up and see where some of the sights were. It was so cool walking around through the town because every other street had a big canal going through it. Along the canals were tones of house boats that looked like they hadnt moved in a long time. In the canals were the tourist canal boats (obviously) but then it seemed like the fun thing for locals. Everyone had their own boats and they were all different.

Anne Frank Museum
Some were old venetian boats (which were my favorite) to boats that looked like miniture tug boats. The locals would just drive around the canals with a group of friends drinking and listening to music...rough.  

Our first thing on the agenda was to go to the Anne Frank museum. We tried buying tickets the night before online so we wouldnt have to wait in line but they were all sold out. So of course when we got there the line was around the building and down the block. We stayed near and had a snack to watch how fast the line was moving and decided we didnt need to see it THAT bad, so we moved on. The Westerkerk church is right next to the museum and is the tallest church in Amsterdam. It has a blue crown on the top and we found out that it was a gift from some king a lont time ago and was a symbol that Amsterdam was under his protection.

This good looking local that kept following me around all day and the canal boat we road on in the background
Pretty cool way of saying you got someone's back...

We decided that if we werent going to the museum that we had to go on a canal ride. We were up in the air at first on which type. You can ride a very large one that sits a lot of people (like the ones in Brugge), one similar to a paddle boat (Erin's choice until I made her realize how much manual labor that would take) and then smaller canal rides. We chose the smaller boat which was a good choice. The boat had a driver who spoke English and the boat was really sweet. This was an excellent way to see the city and also learn something we wouldnt have. One interesting thing that we learned was that a lot of the buildings are slanted and thats because they are on pillars underwater, some of the foundations are sinking making the building sink.

It is really noticable with some buildings. Some of them are so bad I couldnt imagine living in them. Another interesting fact that we learned was that on the top of each building there is beam sticking out which is used to hoist large things up through the windows since the buildings are so narrow. Both are two things that we found really interesting and wouldnt have know about them if we had gone on the canal ride.

After getting back on solid ground we thought we would go and check the museum again to see if it had tamed down and it DID! There were only maybe 10 people in line! So we hopped in and by the time we got to the door the line had grown back around the building again, it was just fate. The museum was really fascinating and sad all in one.

It has been a long time since I had read the book but going through the museum brought it all back. The first part of the museum isn in the actual house she was hiding in. There were a lot of additional rooms that contained a lot of attention grabbing artifacts, but their hiding area was the most interesting. I was suprised one, how big it was and two, how well maintained everything was. Her bedroom still had photos from magazines that she cut out and glued on the wall. The museum also taught you a lot about after the book which is almost just as sad. I would definitely look into it sometime. Sadly we couldnt take any pictures so I dont have any from the inside.

We grabbed some food at a local bagel shop and the headed to Old Center which is like the city square.

Supposedly it is supposed to date back to the medieval times, not for sure but it looks it. It had some really neat buildings but was sort of the tourist hang out. There are a lot of street performers and then theres people who are dressed up standing there to get your picture taken with them for a small fee. It was really funny because some of the people would be dressed up in real elaborate outfits and then others would just have a Scream mask on witha a cape.

It was about time to leave so we figure we ought to head over to the red light district to check it out. This was quite hilarious because I dont think Erin really had any idea what it was going to be. When we first started walking through it was just coffee shops and sex toy shops but then as soon as we passed the first window.

Old warehouse turned into apartments. You can see the hoist at the top of the building
..Erin was a little caught off guard, she couldnt believe that they just stood there. Well we didnt stay long because at 4:00 on Sunday, let's just say that the Red Light District employee's arent the cream of the crop...

When sitting on the train home we just so happened to run into the love drunk couple from the train ride there and guess what...they got tattoos together in Amsterdam, how romantic. His was a continuum triangle symolizing never ending love and she he got some short quote on the TOP side of her rist. I had a hard time controlling myself while they were showing me, but I just bit my lip and said "ooo wow thats awesome."

church next to Anne Frank Museum
church next to Anne Frank Museum
Anne Frank Museum
Anne Frank Museum
Anne Frank Museum
Anne Frank Museum
Anne Frank Museum
Anne Frank Museum
This good looking local that kept …
This good looking local that kept…
Old warehouse turned into apartmen…
Old warehouse turned into apartme…
Slanted buildings
Slanted buildings
Smallest apartment in Amsterdam
Smallest apartment in Amsterdam
Really slanted
Really slanted
A huge bicycle parking rampe, thou…
A huge bicycle parking rampe, tho…
Same local following me
Same local following me
National monument
National monument
Amsterdam
photo by: pearcetoyou