Thursday, September 8, 2011

In Amsterdam

August 8-9

On the morning of August 8th, we left Paris by train bound for Amsterdam. I spent the train ride reading, dozing and taking in the pleasant country-side scenery of the France, Belgium and the Netherlands. We arrived at Amsterdam Centraal several hours later and headed for our hotel.

While in Amsterdam, we stayed at the Boutique Hotel View, which I think was my favorite hotel of our trip. Excellent, personal hospitality.... Located in an old canal house on a quiet street with views of the canal, the hotel is a very short walking distance to shopping, dining and entertainment, as well as to numerous museums such as the Anne Frank House and Van Gogh Museums. Our room was surprisingly spacious and the decor is chic, stylish and comfortable. I'd stay there again. : )

By the time we checked in and freshened up, it was mid to late afternoon so we went out for an early dinner. We then walked around the shops and debated on buying long pants and jackets for me and the girls because we were so cold and hadn't packed enough warm clothing for our trip! It turns out Amsterdam [and France and Germany] had an unusually cold summer this year. We went back to the hotel and relaxed for a bit while my husband went online and purchased advance tickets to the Anne Frank House for the following morning. We went back out for dessert and when we were about a block from our hotel it started pouring! We had umbrellas, but were still pretty soaked by the time we found a little Italian restaurant for tiramisu and chocolate cake. It was the perfect night for some comforting desserts, that's for sure!
View of the canal from the Anne Frank House

The following morning we walked from our hotel to the Anne Frank House, which was one of my favorite places we visited on our trip. This was the house in which Anne Frank hid from the Nazis for over two years with her family and four others. I knew the basic facts of the Anne Frank story, but I learned so much more visiting the museum. Not only that, but learning more about the Anne Frank story in the exact house in which they hid made this educational experience so much more profound and emotional. This visit will stay with my for a very long time.

Unfortunately, photography is prohibited in the museum, so I don't have any photos of the inside of the Anne Frank House. I don't even have a good photo of the outside! There are plenty of great photos at the museum website, though.

For more information about Anne Frank and the Anne Frank House museum, visit This website is phenomenal. It hosts an amazing amount of information and detail about the Anne Frank story and the German Invasion in general as well as information about the museum and other inspiring and interactive pages. If you're ever in Amsterdam, I highly recommend you visit the Anne Frank House and Museum. Stay at the Boutique Hotel View when you do.

We would have loved to have had more time to explore Amsterdam, but this was all we had time to do this time as we had reservations on a train for Berlin that afternoon--and we decided we had to take an hour to buy those warmer clothes which we definitely needed that afternoon and in the days to come in Germany. At least now I know what to do first the next time we visit Amsterdam--starting with taking time to walk or bike along the canals and visit the other museums including the Van Gogh Museum.

Some little things I liked about Amsterdam:
•The canals.
•Bicycles everywhere!
•There's a parking deck at Amsterdam Centraal [major train station] just for bicycles!
•There was a sweet dog living at the hotel who greeted us in the lobby as well as two sweet kittens in the back room. Daughters abducted one of the kittens to our room for about 10 minutes at one point. Lots of cooing and giggling going on. ; )

Coming up next... Berlin, Germany!


  1. It sounds like an awesome place to be!!!

    Glad you enjoyed it all!

  2. Wow, it sounded beautiful. Thanks for sharing! Can't wait for more. :D

  3. I love Amsterdam (and The Hague [where my friend lived]). And how the cyclist and the cars co-exist so peacefully I have no idea!

    I was fortunate to visit the Anne Frank house. It moving. I can't imagine how terrifying it was.

    Have never been to Berlin, so looking forward to your next post (no pressure :)

  4. Hi Alex!
    I'd love to spend more time in Amsterdam sometime. It was definitely a fun city.

    Hi little_alys,
    It was great! I hope you visit there someday.

    It was really impressive how well the cyclists and motorists coexist, wasn't it? I think it's because the cyclist outnumber the motorists... so the motorists are scared. lol

    The Anne Frank House was VERY moving. I got choked up the moment we walked into the first room and all that was on display was the handful of black and white portraits of Anne Frank. Then in the last room I couldn't hold it back any longer and was crying. I never knew she wanted to be a writer... it was her dream to write a book about life in the annex and get it published. If she only knew the impact she'd have on the world...

    So you and I have a place to where we've both been. Now we just need to work on being at a the same place at the same time! ; )

  5. What a wonderful trip to take!


  6. Amsterdam sounds cool! I like the idea of so many bikes around.
    When my kids were old enough I requested that each of them read The Diary of Anne Frank. I thought it was very important and still do.

    Can't wait to hear about Germany!

  7. The hotel looks awesome! And yes, I bet this would be a city for you, with all the bikes :)

    Sounds like you had a nice time, too bad you didn't stay that long.

    You're also brave, because I skipped the Anne Frank museum. I just couldn't do it :(

    Looking forward to pics from Germany!!

  8. Paula... it was great! :)

    Brandy... I just found our copy of The Diary of Anne Frank yesterday. I started reading it at one time, but couldn't get into it. My copy has really tiny type. I think that's why... might have to borrow a better copy from the library.

    Are you still interested in hearing about Germany? Gosh, I've been home almost a month already. LOL

    nath.. You know me so well--I LOVED all the bikes!

    I'll stay longer in Amsterdam next time.

    Next time you are in Amsterdam, you should go to the Anne Frank museum. Go with you sister and have tissues in your pocket. It's worth the tears.

    Guess who I saw in Germany??

  9. No, that's the thing. I purposely didn't go last time, because I don't like Anne Frank history.

    Hmmmm, no idea LOL. Show me the pics!!


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