Day 18 – Amsterdam

Today was a bit of an adventure with trains, as the train I had intended to take was cancelled, so I had to take one an hour later.

However, after that all went smoothly. I said my goodbyes to Julia & Heinz and I was on my way.

I decided to go ahead and check into my hostel upon my arrival in Amsterdam, and this was the hostel I was most excited about, because I would be staying in an old Dutch caravan at the Lucky Lake Hostel.

Here are some pictures of the hostel and my caravan. Oh so fun!

After I got checked in I headed back to Amsterdam for my tour of the Anne Frank house. This was a touching experience, because her diary was one of the books I most remember reading in late elementary school – when I was such a voracious reader I would read 2 or more books in a week – this one certainly stood out, and it was incredible to be in the space of the Annex, and see where they hid.

At the end of the tour, they ask you to leave your reflections in their online journal. You can view mine here.

It was a touching experience, and the last of my scheduled holocaust monuments, memorials and museums, and while each have been difficult and emotional, I am greatful to have had the opportunity to visit, reflect and remember the victims of the Nazi Regime.

After leaving the Anne Frank House I did a walking tour – using Rick Steeves Audio app of Amsterdam. I didn’t take many pictures, because I was enjoying the sights, smells and ambiance that is Amsterdam. I stumbled on festivals, concerts and even a blue convertible band – who apparently are quite a hit in Amsterdam. I made a video of them for you to hear. Enjoy!

Also, in a nod to the diversity that is Amsterdam, I stumbled upon this musical ensemble:

After my walking tour, I visited a Dutch pub, where I had bitterballen (upon Simone’s recommendation) and a Dutch beer. It was yummy (and I really liked their pickles and pickled pearl onions) they were just what was needed with the fried bitterballen.

After this I had a bit of time to kill before my 10 pm canal cruise, so I just wandered, and came upon a lovely park, which was perfect for people watching (of locals and tourists alike) so I killed some time there.

Then I went to the pier to see Amsterdam by the water, and I was no disappointed. It was beautiful, and the perfect way to see this city. I’m certain my pictures don’t come close to doing it justice, but I hope you enjoy then.

The buildings, explanations of the architecture and the way the Dutch have built on reclaimed marsh lands were absolutely facinating. (If the sea level rises, I want Dutch engineers building my home!)

After the cruise, I began the trek back to the hostel, and crashed in my caravan a bit after midnight, with a delay because my caravan power wasn’t working (but it’s all fixed now – pesky fuses!)

Tomorrow I’ve decided to head to Brugge, Belgium to see a true medieval town.

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