A Huge Day in Amsterdam


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Europe » Netherlands
July 23rd 2013
Published: June 29th 2017
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Its been an epic and exhausting day. Its been 16 hours since we caught the train to Amsterdam from Ede-Wageingen. Its coming on for 11.30pm now, and we are on the train back where hopefully Jan will be waiting for us. Its been a great day, and we've got heaps done. Borrowing Museum Cards from Bram and Jojanekke paid off to, getting us sneaky free entry on 2 out of 3 attempts at Anne Franks House and the Rijksmuseum. We werent so lucky at van Goghs, but that just led us to a good time at the Heineken experience instead. We then had a cruise, laugh at the sex museum, and stroll through the red light district to finish things off. But I digress, lets start from our first stop.Anne Franks House was high on the list of places Natalie wanted to see. We had heard of the horrors of the associated queue, but booking online wasn't an option if we wanted free entry with our borrowed museum cards. After hiking in another day of scorching heat from the station, we were soon acquainted with a huge queue. We probably spent the best or worst part of 80 minutes waiting here, part of a monstrous snake that was the queue, sweating and as soaked as if we were being slowly digested. Finally, the front of the line and inside to experience the tragic story of the Frank family. Jews, having to hide in Amsterdam in the second world war. A father, Otto, his wife and two children, a business associate, and another family of three. Eight people in total, hiding in Ottos secret annex on level three above his factories. Here, with the aid of four helpers, these people sheltered for three years. During this time, Ottos second daughter Anne, wrote a dairy of her thoughts, experiences and account of her familys lives in hiding. Tragically, they were betrayed, their presence revealed by unknown means or persons, and the family was found and taken by the Nazis. All eight except for Otto perished in death camps. Anne Franks diary became published after the war and tells a somber but fascinating story.Next, a packed lunch and trip to the Rijksmuseum, a museum famous for its paintings and historic art. Overall it was a little dry, but did include some captivating and impressive pieces, the most famous being the Nights Watch by Rembrandt. Just across the way, was the van Gogh museum. We were a bit art overwhelmed by this point, but felt obligated to see the museum being so close. Here the museum card failed. It was near over when the ticket checker spoke to us in Dutch. 'Yes, we are Bram and Jojanneke (in Australian accent). Whats our birthdates you ask? I dint know.'So rejected, and accused of fraud, the only option was beer. I'm not a crazy Heineken enthusiast, but tales of the Heineken experience tour tell of its magnificence. I missed it on my last trip to Amsterdam. Not today, even with my companion today never having consumed a beer in her life! Oh how that would soon change!It was a pretty well organized tour all round, with videos, horses, advertising, interactive games, displays, a ride and tasting. At the end of the tour, a bar with two free beers per person. Tragically, as Natalie was not a beer drinker, I would have to help with her beer entitlement. Yet somehow, I only finished getting three beers. Whether it was the hot weather, to spite me, some personal quest or just because, Natalie polished off a whole pot of Heineken to herself. Each guest was entitled to a free gift too, if you were willing to walk 15 minutes for it. I bet they save a lot of stock this way. Well the location was on the way back to the city centre so we picked up our bottle openers, along with a pair of Ajax football socks at the Ajax experience along the way.After dinner, we decided to take a canal cruise. 5 minutes after ticket purchase we were on board and away soon thereafter. It was a lengthy tour, relaxing and pretty in the evening setting sun, offering a different perspective of the city and taking us to areas we had not yet seen.We were off the boat around 9.30pm, and ready for a different kind of museum, the Amsterdam Sex Museum, a steal for 4€ each. Its an interesting place, basically with statues, displays, paintings, photos and drawings about sex in all its forms and styles from around the world, across history. Theres something for everyone, missionary, nuns, dwarf, goat, paddling, sadism, chains, top hats, a bit of blood sweat and tears, masks and more. Some is educational, some interesting, some hilarious, some confusing, some just sick, and some things will make you wonder how and why.The museum set the tone for an evening stroll through the red light district. It was a new experience for Nat, the viewing that is. Aside from a wink or smile here and there we didn't chat to any of the ladies on display. Some religious tourists did, trying to save their souls and all. Like the museum, if you re looking for something here, you can find it. Theatre shows, peep shows, condomeries, toys and more. Theres hundreds of women in the windows, lit up with red lights, some beckoning, smiling, staring, banging on the glass with fury, thin, heavy, dressed in leather, police outfits, school girls, and more. Theres also blue lights on some windows, if you re a fan of transgendered folk.Exhausted and amused, we headed back to the train station to catch the 10.53 bound for Neijmeigen. A huge, but memorable day, ah Amsterdam.


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