About Me

I am a 45 year husband and dad, currently adjusting to life back in the United States after living in Italy for a little over two years. I love spending time with my family, cycling, model railroading, mosaics and watching TV and movies.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Anne Frank and Windmills

We woke this morning at 8am for breakfast at 8:30. Once again, another great breakfast.

Our first destination for the day was the Anne Frank house. This was one of Katrina’s top places she wanted to visit in Amsterdam. Once again, thanks to Rick Steve’s for suggesting we buy online tickets beforehand. There were long lines when we arrived and even longer ones when we exited. We were abl to walk right in the VIP doors.

Statue of Anne Frank, near her house.

I have never read the Diary of Anny Frank, but feel I must now. I knew the general ideas about her life, but now I understand its significance and need to read the book. We toured the house which had many interesting displays and information. We toured the secret rooms and saw some short films.

I left the house feeling inspired and humbled. It’s a powerful message and quite a life they had to live. Its also very inspiring and incredible how their friends helped keep them in hiding, even at their own great risk. I highly suggest a visit if anyone reading this is ever in Amsterdam.

The Sloten Windmill

Another view of the windmill.

Our next destination was a windmill. We all wanted to see one. We had to hop three different trams to get there. We rode the last one to the end of the line in the suburb of Sloten then had to walk about 10 minutes into the town center area.

The Sloten Windmill is one of its kind among the 500 still working mills in Holland. For instance, this renovated mill, which is still working, originates from 1847 and can be visited. We bought tickets and looked through the small museum to get an understanding of what windmills were used for: power to run mills, cheese making, and the pumping of water from behind the dikes and back into the sea.

Museum display of a millars shop.

Then we climbed up into the windmill where we saw models of what they look like inside and how they work. We walked out on the deck of the lower level to see the big sails going round and round, speeding up and slowing down based on the gusts of wind. Then we climbed up to a higher lever where we could see the old wooden gears that drove the shaft. We also watched a short video about Rembrandt, who was a millers son and spent some time painting and drawing in the area.

View of the canal in front of the windmill.

Brandon checks out a model of the windmill.

Wooden gears inside the windmill.

Corkscrew for the water pumping.

HO scale diorama of the windmill.

Katrina, the photographer.

This was a very cool experience and a lot of fun. We bought a book on windmills in Holland, as well as some tiny wooden shoe ornaments for our Christmas tree.
It was lunchtime, so we crossed the street to eat at Da Halve Maen. We all agreed on the same thing, Wienerschnitzel. It was good, but a pricey lunch at amost e50.

Katrina and Brandon on the tram.

We walked back to the tram station and rode it all the way to the other end, Central Station. Actually, Katrina got off a few stops earlier. She was going to go find the tea store we spotted yesterday and visit Rembrandt’s house. Brandon and I were headed to the boat docks to take a 1 hour canal tour. The canal tour was nice and relaxing, with lots of information about the buildings and the different districts. It was almost too relaxing and made us both very tired.

Looking down one of the side canals.

Brandon on the boat tour.

Carnival Cruise Ship in the Port of Amsterdam

NEMO Museum in the Harbor.

When we returned to the boat dock, we texted Katrina that we would meet her back at the hotel room. We hopped on a tram and headed that way, stopping to get an ice cream for Brandon and a Coke for me.

Katrina arrived and we spent a couple of hours in the room resting. Me working on this blog, Brandon and Katrina both reading. I also went upstairs and paid for our room.

This evening we decided to get some dinner at the Asian Garden again. Once again it was very tasty and satisfying. Brandon loves the soup and chinese restaraunts.

After dinner we wandered the streets for a short while, then headed back to the room for relax and get packed up. Today was our last day in Amsterdam. Tomorrow we take the train into Germany and head to Bacharach, in the Rhine River Valley. I think we have about a 5 hour train ride.

1 comment:

  1. Hello Patrick,
    I also went to the Anne Frank and Sloten Windmill just today. I really enjoyed the village, and I also ate at the De Halve Maene. I just had an Amstel and soup for €6.75 so that wasn't too bad. Nice little place to eat. It was great to see the works of the windmill. I would love to ride my bike in the area. Maybe on another trip. The Anne Frank house made me feel the same as you - that I needed to read the book. I bought one for my daughter (I am approx the same age as you, 44 now,) and so I plan on reading her copy.
    Thank you for the pictures. I forgot my camera, and would like for my family to see the pictures, since they couldn't be there. I will mark your page.
    Michael from Kansas, USA