jn82’s Epic Adventure

Day 89 [28 Apr 09] – Amsterdam

Posted in Amsterdam by jn82 on April 28, 2009

*For some strange reason, the USB controller on my netbook is malfunctioning, so I am unable to upload any pictures to my computer. Sadly, I think this travel log will have no pictures for the remainder of the trip.*

This morning, we headed to the Anne Frank House. For those of you that have read the book, this would probably be a must see place if you are in Amsterdam. I had and have not read the book, but still decided to go anyway as this is the location where the happenings of one of the most translated books in history took place. For those of you that have also not read the book, in a nutshell, Anne Frank is a girl who was 14 in 1943 when World War II broke out, and after the Nazis invaded the Netherlands, her father hid her entire family and some family friends in the attic of his jam factory in Amsterdam. During the war, she and her family hid out here and lived their everyday lives indoors, in secrecy from the majority of the jam factory’s employees and the outside world. As an aspiring author, Anne kept a diary which she intended to publish after the war, and in it were all the thoughts and feelings of a 14 year old girl going up indoors during the war. After the family was betrayed and carted off the the concentration camps, only Otto Frank (Anne’s father) returned after the war, and after discovering her diary, made Anne’s dreams of becoming a published author come through.

The Anne Frank House is not really a very interesting place to visit though. First you have to queue just under an hour to get in if you arrive after 11am. Once inside, there is not much to see inside, except for the empty rooms where the family and friends hid during the period before they were betrayed. They did not even bother to recreate the setting of the rooms during the war because after the Nazis came in, they removed all the furniture and after the war, Otto Frank intended for the attic to remain unfurnished as a reminder.

About a 40 minute queue to get in to the Anne Frank House.

Anne Frank House.

After the Anne Frank House, we took a 30 minute walk to the Van Gough Museum. Along the way, we walked down Amsterdam’s most expensive shopping street, P Cornelisz Hooftstr. Almost every single shop along this street is a branded boutique, from Armarni to Zenga. When we got to the Van Gough museum, there was a long queue in the rain. We also realised it cost 15€ to enter, so we decided to skip it, and take another long walk to a micro-brewery which the tour guide from yesterday recommended.

The canals of Amsterdam.

More canals.

Last canal picture.

The boring exterior of the Van Gough museum.

Rijksmuseum.

After another hour of walking in a slight drizzle past many canals and bridges, we got to Brouwerij ‘t IJ, a micro brewery located beside the De Gooyer windmill. The atmosphere there was not very life changing, so we just had a Columbus, which is a 9% alcohol amber beer with lots of hops and alcohol, before walking back to the hostel for a short rest.

Brouwerij ‘t IJ micr0brewery.


Liquid gold.

Once back at the hostel, this is about the time I discovered that my USB ports are no longer functioning and I will be unable to upload any pictures for the rest of the trip! How terrible, but at least I will be able to get a bit more rest each night instead of having to upload pictures.

We headed back to Amsterdam Centraal station around 6.45pm, which was the meeting point for our tour of Amsterdam’s red light district! The tour cost us 8€ each, and was to last for two hours. In hindsight, it was probably totally unnecessary to be on a guided tour of the red light district, as the area more resembles a human zoo for tourists to walk around and stare at the girls instead of an actual red light district like Kings Cross or Geylang. I do not think safety is much of an issue for someone walking around there. As for the sights, there were many skimply attired young girls in their red light illuminated store front windows in all the small streets as well as the streets which faced the canals. The girls generally came in two shapes and sizes: young,multi-racial, mind dazzingly beautiful, flirty smiles and winks with excellent figures, and others that were black, old, fat, bursting out of their lingerie, and looked as if they did not give a sh*t about you. I do not know how the latter catagory survives in such a market, but I suppose they have their own target market. There is a third catagory of “girls”, which sit in windows with blue lights along a particular street. These are girls only from the waist up, if you get what I mean. It was a night sightseeing trip, but nothing more than that.

Yes, this IS part of the red light district.

Movies.

Hardcore gay club.

The Bulldog, Amsterdam’s first “coffeeshop”.

After this, we bought some chinese takeout and headed back to the hostel for a late dinner. Quite a long day today, but we did get to see a lot.

Today’s pictures here.

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