Fred, Julie, and I took a day trip from Leiden to Amsterdam. We should have gone the day before because it was perfect weather but I could only get Anne Frank museum tickets on this day. (If you are planning a trip to Amsterdam, buy these tickets in advance! People were waiting in line outside in the pouring rain. No fun.)
Behind the Amsterdam sign is the Rijksmuseum, it is currently under construction but I appreciated the fact there wasn't as much to see, otherwise it is always a little overwhelming. We saw masterpieces by Vermeer, and unconventional Degas sketches. I was a happy camper.
Vondel Park is the most popular park in Amsterdam. In these 120 acres there is plenty of space for joggers, picnickers, and pot smokers. As soon as we walked in there was an ambulance, with paramedics helping out a 20-something year old man. I have a feeling this is a regular occurrence.
French fries sold on every corner. MMMMM MMMM.
My first real french fry and mayonnaise experience and I think I am already addicted. The only problem is I am not sure I can get the same mayonnaise in the States. It was much richer and creamier than what I am used to.
It started to rain.
We were prepared for it but it is hard to sightsee with a hood covering your eyes. My plans to go to the red light district, the Heineken Experience, etc was quickly thwarted. I guess we will have to come back!
We ended our quick Amsterdam tour at the Anne Frank museum, 'the museum with a story'. What I found interesting is that their living quarters were much bigger than I ever imagined. From what I remember reading in her diary while in high school I pictured the families crowded together with little space, no toilet, etc but it was actually quite roomy. It makes it less depressing I suppose. I know that they were hiding from nazis, they couldn't go outside, and they had to be quiet all the time (which is no way to live) but I am certain it could have actually been worse. The other thing I found interesting was that she was 13 but dreamt of being a writer, wrote short stories, and planned on getting her diary published.
Her story is incredible; I wholeheartedly recommend this museum. http://www.annefrank.org/