We had a long drive to Amsterdam this morning. Leaving Berlin before 8am, we only arrived here after 4pm. The hotel we are staying in is amazing. Once we had settled in, we set out for an evening visit to Amsterdam city centre. We took the train into the city. Amsterdam Centraal station is huge and has about 250 000 people in and out each day.
We stepped out and you immediately knew where you were – the canals with boats, loads of bicycles, the leaning houses and of course the ‘smell’, which is everywhere by the way. It is a very busy place with loads of people around.
We went for dinner in Dam Square before heading to the Anne Frank Museum. I really enjoyed this. They take you through the history of Germany and the Nazi power and what it was like for them. They have the original bookcase that was used to hide the trap door. You then go through the rooms they stayed in. There are still pictures on the wall that Anne had stuck up during her stay. The kitchen sink, and original toilet and basin are also still there. The museum also houses Anne’s original diaries and writing paper. It was such a great and emotional experience. To stand there and know that that was where they actually hid, where they feared for the lives and weren’t sure what each day had in store for them, were they going to be found, and when would it all end. Just crazy.
After that we took a lovely walk home through the little streets. The canals are so beautiful.
I am looking forward to exploring more tomorrow. Vaarwel!
Collette is a foundation phase teacher at a prominent boys’ school in Cape Town, South Africa. After 4 years of University and into her 2nd year of teaching, she has decided it’s time to see the world.