Sunny skies and cool weather are perfect for sightseeing anywhere, but you just don't get them that often in this part of Europe. Fortunately for us, and for all the locals who were off on this Sunday, it could not have been nicer! I had been here on business before, but this was Bowen's first trip, so we made sure to give him the grand overview, beginning with a 2-hr canal cruise around the major canals. There are LOTS of these canal boats, but those designed for tourists do a good job giving you the highlights and some important history. They also do a great job orienting you to the layout of the city, which is built around the canals not streets.
Three things you learn quickly: 1) while canals are laid out in an orderly manner, streets are not; 2) streets can change names frequently, sometimes every block, and 3) there are more bicycles than cars and they will run over you if you get into their lanes. Once, you figure out these important lessons, it actually becomes quite easy to walk around the city.
We stayed in a Marriott in the Museum district, which put us in easy walking distance to most of the major museums, the major shopping streets, the flower market and the Anne Frank House. Because of the huge crowds on this beautiful Sunday afternoon, we were not able to visit either the Rijksmuseum or the Van Gogh Museum. But we did visit the Anne Frank House. I don't even know how to describe how I felt seeing the actual location whereAnne and here family lived i hiding before being captured just a few months before the liberation. I will definitely be reading her diary again and will make sure to share it with our grandchildren. There are so many lessons that should not be forgotten. An I'm getting emotional again just thinking about it...
We loved this short stay and would love to visit this beautiful and fascinating city again!
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