Amsterdam Quickie: November 23, 2008
What do you normally do for Thanksgiving? Well in 2008 My Friend Deanna and I thought Thanksgiving would be a perfect time to visit Egypt. On our way to Egypt we had a pretty lengthy layover at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam. Lengthy like a good 13 hours. We thought – well this airport was pretty large we can hang around here. Then walking further away from the gates we notice there was the city train that departed directly from the airport to the heart of Amsterdam. “Perfect,” we thought. So we bought a round trip ticket and boarded the train. It was too easy. I thought to myself, “Why don’t most airports have such ease to get into the city center?”
We arrived at Amsterdam Central, and we forgot it was winter time. I was wearing a black dress with leggings and boots (thankfully), but my friend had open toe shoes on. Whoops! At least it wasn’t snowing yet.
We picked up a little map and headed to Anne Frank’s Museum. I would have thought the Museum would be filled, but when we arrived, there was no wait, and we walked right in. I knew a few things about Anne Frank, from her diary and then from a play I’ve seen derived from her diary. But with visiting the museum you get more of a sense of what they lived through. The museum was well-organized in one area you go through the house and the other area you can see the a prominent display of her diary along with photographs towards the end of the hall. To enter the Secret Annex we actually had to walk pass by the bookcase which kept the Secret Annex hidden. When you get through the grey door you have to walk up these steep steps to access where the Franks lived in hiding. The rooms were sparse and had no furniture, the windows were drawn down. My thoughts were to give us a sense of how they had to live hidden inside. Some markings and clippings were left behind on the wall, the markings were to measure the girl’s heights as they grew. I didn’t take any photos inside the museum, I don’t believe it was allowed. Going through the museum I felt this heavy somber feeling as I walked through the space. Since there was no furniture around it was easy to walk about. But i can only imagine how stuffy and trapped you can feel when you aren’t allowed to leave. We wandered a bit more there was no time limit when you are inside. After a more reading and looking through photographs we decided we had to move on if we wanted to see a bit more of Amsterdam. We signed the guest book on our way out and noticed the mass amount of visitors the museum has had. This is a great link from the Museum’s website that shows the layout of the house.
Now it was back out into the cold. And then it started to rain… or was it snow? It was snow! We were a little confused. We walked around the town a little more until we decided, we were going to get sick so we need to find shelter-in a mall! We spent the last hour or so wandering in and out of shops to keep warm and yes, shop a little.
Night slowly crept up and we needed to head back to the airport.
Good bye Amsterdam, til next time. Of course then we will be fully prepared for the cold and snow!