I’ve combined my last two days in Amsterdam, as I didn’t do a whole lot of specific things, I mostly just wandered around and explored and found nice places to read in. I really liked the city, but there, more so than any of the other places I went, I wished I was travelling with someone. I didn’t know much about what to do in Amsterdam once I got there, I really just wanted to see the city itself, so being there felt a bit lonesome as many of the things around seemed much more social and I was too nervous to do them alone.
The one thing I knew I would have to do, and did do, was go to the Anne Frank house. It was a long line up to get in, even in the morning, but I didn’t mind as I wasn’t itching to get to any other urgent plans. Entering that place is one of the most sobering things I’ve ever done, on par with visiting the Holocaust Museum in Israel. I had read Anne Frank’s diary when I was in elementary school, and it was really crazy to be going through those rooms and seeing where they lived during those years. As soon as they got wind of the war, the Frank family moved to the Netherlands, hoping the country would remain neutral like they did in the first war. Unfortunately the Netherlands were soon invaded by Germany, and the family had to go into hiding.
Walking through those rooms, you get a definite sense of skin prickling. It’s horrible to think about what happened, to everyone during the war. You go through the original bookcase secret door, which is insane to see, and up the super steep and narrow stairs to the upstairs area. I could have easily toppled backwards, the stairs are at that sharp of an incline.
The rooms are bare and everyone is hushed. On one wall there is penciled-in height markers for Anna and her sister Margot from their time hiding and growing up in the house. I can’t imagine how hard a life that must have been. The last room contains copies of pages from Anne’s diary.
It was a humbling experience visiting the Anne Frank house. It is well worth a visit, and if you’re unfamiliar with the Franks or haven’t read Anne’s diary, I would recommend doing so. It’s an incredible read, an eye-opener to the world that was. Her writing is something special. It always amazes and impresses me whenever I see well-written diaries. Any journal entry I’ve ever written wouldn’t be of any interest to anyone but me, sometimes not even me. I don’t even always write in complete sentences, so props to all who have well-written journals – you are true to your craft.
The rest of my time spent in Amsterdam, as I said, was spent sightseeing, exploring, reading, shopping, admiring the canals, and munching out on pancakes and pastries.
Next stop London, and it just gets better from here!
Signing off now travel bugs – mwah!