Amsterdam, The Netherlands

November 12th - 14th, 2004

Amsterdam Canal

Dave had been to Amsterdam before for work, so I wanted to go before I left London. For an early birthday present, Dave booked us a weekend in Amsterdam. He arranged the flights and I picked out the Bed and Breakfast.

Upon arrival, Amsterdam was a little drizzly and cold. Armed with the address and a map from the tourist information booth, we set off walking to the B&B. The address led us to a door which lacked signs of any sort to mark it as a B&B. I knocked on the door, but there wasn't any answer. Wondering if we had the correct address we started to walk up and down to look at the cross streets a little more. Certain that we were at the address on the paper, I knocked on the door some more, but still there was no answer. While considering the next plan of action, a guy drives up to Dave on a motorcycle and tells us that he owns the B&B and was late from running some errands. Whew! Better late then never ;)

After he let us in to set our bags down in the bedroom, we met in the living room and discussed the sights of Amsterdam on the map. He gave us helpful hints about less busy times and extended hours to visit specific attractions. I asked about the lack of signs on the B&B and he said it was part of the neighborhood regulations in that area. He was very informative and quite talkative too.

That evening we went to The Anne Frank House first and planned to go to the Van Gogh Museum second, but never made it that far. It began to rain heavier as the evening progressed and while walking to the museum we were lured into a Peruvian Restaurant by a delicious smell. I had a casserole type dish of rice and pumpkin which was very tasty.

The Anne Frank House was the place a Jewish family hid in during World War II and in which Anne Frank wrote her Diary book. It's a museum now where all the rooms have been furnished as she described it in her diary. There are original objects and photos in the house too. I didn't take a picture because it was too dark outside.

The next morning we set off walking around Amsterdam. These pictures are the train station, the Red Light District, and St. Nicolaaskerk (church). The Red Light District was just a bunch of girls standing in windows with the red lights above them. Most girls wore tank tops or bra tops and bikini bottoms or hotpants. Basically if the red light is on, then the girl is working. If the curtain is drawn closed on the window then they are occupied. I was surprised that there was an information office specifically setup for the Red Light District.
train station Red Light District St Nicolaaskerk

Next we visited the "Our Lord in the Attic" chapel. The Roman Catholic church was hidden in the attic because they were not allowed to worship publicly after 1578.
Our Lord in the Attic

Next we walked to Dam Square. This is the Royal Palace and national monument.
Koninklijk Paleis Dam Nationaal Monument

Sunday morning we headed to see the Van Gogh Museum. I took various pictures as we walked... The center picture is the Rijksmuseum, but unfortunately we had run out of time to stop. I thought the lizard statues in a park were cute.
building Rijksmuseum Lizards

The little design End

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