Thursday, July 1, 2010

Rest of Amsterdam and Brussels

7/01 Amsterdam Day 4 and Brussels Day 1

I decided to go ahead and travel to Brussels. I accidentally double booked July 1st in Brussels and Amsterdam. Shame on me for thinking there are 31 days in June. But I really appreciate the freedom to leave when I want.

I got up early and rode my bike to Anne Franks house. The line was short since I was there around 9.30. The house was an amazing experience. It really changed my opinions about the holocaust and its relationship to racism in the states.

They literally had the pages of Anne’s journal on display. I say “journal” because Anne filled her diary in the first week and resorted to writing in notebooks. Her ‘diary’ was actually stacks of notebooks. They also had on display the children’s school lessons, and fake passport.

We then got to walk behind the bookcase and see the hiding place. The secret annex was actually pretty large (bigger than my hostel). However, the depressing part was the lack of trees. I did see the Anne Frank tree which can be seen out of the attic through a mirror.

I’m currently sitting on the train headed to Brussels. I really enjoyed Amsterdam but am ready to move on.
Just got to Brussels and the hostel is super nice. Gonna try to catch a medieval festival tonight. Glad I’m here for four nights. Might make a day trip to Bruge.

6/30 Amsterdam Day 3

Back on my own again- completely. The Spaniard and two Frenchman that were in my room all left this morning and ill be getting three new roommates. Depending on how they are will decide if I stay another night in Amsterdam or go on to Brussels.

I rented a bike this morning and road to see a windmill on the east side of the city. The windmill was actually kind of small. I walk through an open market after. I went back to my original culture immersion technique of ordering what ever the person in front of me got. I ended up with some fruit and shrimp. It was extremely good.

From there I rode all the way south of the city along the bank of the Amstel river to see another windmill. This one was actually pretty large.

I stopped on my way back to rest and write in Begraafplaats Zorgvlied which is a large park with huge oak trees that has a cemetery for famous Hollanders.

After a long day of biking, I called it an early evening. I’m pretty tired and kind of homesick. Looking forward to Brussels and getting back to my extroverted self. Its hard to want to make new friends after my ones from California just left.

Big thanks to Randle Looney and Tyler Ingram for talking to me on facebook and making me feel a little better about being alone. Miss you guys.

Evening: So my three new roommates are 17-year-old german girls. They came in at around eleven, redid their makeup and hair, left for the clubs, and didn’t come back til around five. Note to everyone reading this: Do not let your 17 year old go to Amsterdam.

6/29 Amsterdam Day 2 Continued

Spent the early afternoon at the Van Gogh museum. With some art, I don’t understand what all the fuss is about. However, with Van Gogh, its easily recognized what makes his work so special to see in person. His brush strokes create layers to the paintings. The “Lillies” painting was my favorite. The museum was expensive but completely worth it.
My friends from California agreed that this museum seemed better than the Orsay just because it didn’t feel like a failed attempt at the louvre.

After the Van Gogh Museum we walked to the famous “I Amsterdam” sign to take some pictures.

From there we walked to the Heiniken museum. I was very skeptical, but it was starting to rain and didn’t mind. The museum was actually very well done. It was actually a lot of fun going around the facilities and learning about how they made the beer and where they got the recipe. Also, that two of the Heiniken men had won top honors by the government in Holland for their outstanding beer making. How bout those priorities?

After the museum, we walked back to the white tulip hostel where the California guys were staying for dinner and me to update my blog. I hung out with the guys for a while at their hostel before heading back to mine for the night.

Gonna miss those guys. Sean, Neil, Jarin, and Larry- thanks for letting me join up. I had a great time.

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