We jumped on a train in Berlin and made it to Amsterdam in no time. Amsterdam is a very nice, very different city but so overrun by both rogue bikes and gaggles of tourists…we weren’t helping the latter situation! We loved the city nonetheless and enjoyed three busy days dodging bicycles and soaking up the unique sights.
If you’ve kept up with our blogging, you can probably guess what we did first…yes a walking tour of the key sites. This time we were lead by a fellow Australian guide with a thick accent and a penchant for Dutch curse words. Within minutes of leaving the main square he’d shown us a magic mushroom shop, a scantily clad working lady in a window, a “coffee shop” and a centuries old church. What a place. The tour continued along the canals to the former home of Rembrandt and Anne Frank, as well as the Dutch East India company.
Walking tour complete, we sampled some cheesy baked goods and made our way to the Anne Frank House museum for our allotted entry time. The museum is in what was once the factory and hideout of the Frank family during the Nazi occupation. Some of the original pieces on displayed included the bookcase used to conceal the hideout, wall decorations, diary entries and sinks etc. It’s a fascinating story and the museum, albeit exceptionally busy, gave us an interesting insight into their life in hiding.
For our second day, Adam organised a catch up with gliding friends in a nearby town called Delft (home of the white and blue ceramics known as delftware). It’s like Amsterdam in miniature but without the hoards of tourists. We wandered the old, canal-lined streets, climbed the bell tower in the main square and enjoyed a beer on a large public plaza. We had a good time and welcomed the break from busy city life.
By our third day we still hadn’t seen a traditional Dutch windmill so we set about fixing this. A quick google search revealed a great relic in a nearby park. We walked about 40 minutes and sure enough there was a very cute windmill from the 1700s sitting by the canal. There was no wind so we can’t say if it was in working order but it certain looked pretty authentic. Unfortunately we couldn’t go inside as it is currently occupied by a family, what a place to live! We walked back to our digs and found some time for relaxing before our journey back to Germany.