We pause at the hotel for a moment to dump our luggage and catch a breath, and then we head out for a walk around town. First thing that comes to mind is that I've never seen so many bicycles in all my life. They are everywhere. Amsterdam is definitely not the European town I thought it would be. In many ways, it reminds me a lot of Vancouver. The smell of pot lingers in the air as we walk past 'coffee shops' and the people are laid back both in attitude and dress. We wander the streets and find ourselves in the Dam Square. Andrew and the boys enjoy a rest by the canal outside Anne Frank house while I go inside to visit the museum. It is both moving and unsettling to be walking through the very house and rooms where she and her family hid during the Nazi invasion. She had plastered pictures on the walls which were still intact and markings on the wall where Otto Frank had measured the heights of his daughters were still visible. Seeing Anne's original diary was very interesting as well. I can't imagine being holed up in such tiny quarters for over a year with nothing but a skylight in the attic to let in daylight.
With only one day, we don't have any time to visit museums housing works by Dutch masters Rembrandt, Vermeer and Van Gogh. We do however have time to stop in a small cafe for lunch before making our way back to the hotel. A restless night is had by all but especially Ethan who copes with jet lag by playing with his hot wheels until 3am...
Nap time in the Dam Square.
Lunchtime, nap time.
Anne Frank House.