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Amsterdam and Poland 2017 

 Day 3, Amsterdam

Tueday, June 6

 

Today we had 10:45 tickets to Anne Frank's house which was about a 15-minute walk from our hotel. Again we had a delicious breakfast in the hotel. The weather isn't nice, with a drizzle on and off and quite cloudy. The other two days have been very nice with temperatures in the high 60s. We both wore our raincoats and the hotel loaned us a large umbrella.

ANNE FRANK'S HOUSE

We arrived at Anne Frank's house on time. There was a long line of those who had purchased online tickets, as we did a number of months ago. In fact, you can only get in for that time if you have printed online tickets. There were people standing in line waiting to buy tickets and when we left the line was several blocks long.  

 I'm sure most of you, at one time or another, have read the Diary of Anne Frank. I read it in college and then two years ago when we were planning to go on the Baltic Sea cruise and had purchased online tickets then for Ann Frank's house.

  The Anne Frank House is dedicated to Jewish wartime diarist Anne Frank. The building is located on a canal called the Prinsengracht, close to the Westerkerk.

 During World War II, Anne Frank hid from Nazi persecution with her family and four other people in hidden rooms at the rear of the 17th-century canal house, known as the Secret Annex. Anne Frank did not survive the war, but in 1947 her wartime diary was published. In 1957, the Anne Frank Foundation was established to protect the property from developers who wanted to demolish the block.

The museum opened on May 3  1960. It preserves the hiding place, has a permanent exhibition on the life and times of Anne Frank.     Everyone had audio devices which gave the history of each room and stories about Anne Frank and her family. There is no furniture in the house, but we moved from room to room and floor to floor clear to the attic where the Frank family lived. Each floor the steps became steeper and the tread narrower.   As we reached the 3rd floor where the bookcase was, the narration stopped and everyone just walked in silence and looked at  the photos and read the printed information.  It was a very moving experience.    No photos were allowed inside the house.

They had a paper model of house but it was too big and too heavy to carry around for the rest of the trip.  I ordered it when we got home. It came in less that two weeks, and I made it that day.   For other photos of this model click here.

When we came out it was raining. Next door toAnn Frank's house is the Westerkerk, a large church with an extremely high tower. The church was not open but the tower was. We passed up that opportunity. Climbing all of those steep in the Frank house will do us for a while.  

 Westerkerk is the largest church in Amsterdam, built 1619 – 1631. The Western Church, is the most important Protestant church in the city, while its bell tower remains until today the pride of Amsterdam, regarded by many, as the city symbol.

Probably because their land is so flat, the Dutch love towers. The 275ft high Westerkerk Tower, built in 1638, dominates above most of the Old City center.

Westerkerk is the burial place of the famous Dutch painter Rembrandt, who at the end of his life lived nearby. When he died in 1669, Rembrandt was so poor, that he was buried in an unmarked church grave, with several other people, where human remains were buried only for 20 years, to make place for other poor people in the same grave. That is why the exact place of Rembrandt’s grave remains unknown. A memorial shield inside the church on its left nave wall, is a symbolic mark of Rembrandt’s place of burial.  

 

  There was a large glass covered sightseeing boat in the canal in front of Anne Frank's house, so we decided to take that as we had wanted to take a boat ride on the canals. This was a 2 1/2 hour trip around and through the canal district. The buildings are very remarkable. Like Old Town Alexandria houses are rowhouses and the width of the houses was very restricted but not the height nor depth. The tour was narrated and we were told that some of the houses had from 20 to 40 rooms.  

 We got back to where we started at Ann Frank's house about 2:30. Nearby was a Pancake House so we stopped in. The pancakes were thin and covered the entire plate. We both had a pancake with yogurt, strawberries and honey. They were delicious. By then it was after 3:00 so we decided to come back to the hotel to rest, besides it was raining and the wind blowing quite strongly.

  Kathleen had made dinner reservations several months ago in the The Brasserie in the Ambassase Hotel which was in a lovely dining room about two blocks from our hotel. For the appetizer we shared a half-dozen Irish oysters on the half shell – they were wonderful. For the main course Kathleen had the fish of the day which was sole and I had seabass with a few interesting vegetables. For dessert Kathleen had a chocolate crępe and I had a orange crepe. Both of us were really bad and had ice cream on it.

  It rained on us as we went to dinner, but cleared up a little for our walk home but it is cold and windy.

   Even though yesterday was  Pentecost Monday, which is a legal holiday, we thought that all of the thousands of people that we saw were celebrating the day off, but the streets were just as crowded today even with the rain.  

Next Day

Day 1 - Amsterdam

Day 2 - Amsterdam

Day 3 - Amsterdam

Day 4 - Amsterdam

Day 5 - Warsaw

Day 6 - Warsaw

Day 7 -Warsaw

Day 8 - Czestochowa and Kracow

Day 9 - Krakow

Day 10 - Auschwitz and Wroclaw

Day 11 - Wroclaw

Day 12 coming soon