maandag 16 september 2013

Day trip: Amsterdam

A day trip to Amsterdam

Yesterday I went on a day trip to Amsterdam accompanied by my mom and sister. Whenever we go somewhere they idea usually came from me, because I love days in between the hectic lifestyle that we have to just get away and do something different than our normal every day habits. Plus, I've been wanting to go to the Anne Frank house for a while now, but that doesn't happen until the end of this post, so do read on!

Since it was a sunday and the three of us had to be up early the next morning, we decided to not make our little trip too long and decided before we left that we would only visit two things and just take enough time to see everything there possible. Our first stop was the Rijksmuseum, home to numerous paintings, furniture, musical instruments and even weapons. Artist ranging from Vermeer to Van Gogh were present and the museum itself is quite large as well, so we didn't get to stop and take in everything carefully, but we saw most of it and had a great time. And that's the most important thing, right?

There even was a rather large library inside of the museum. We weren't allowed to touch any of the books or walk around in it, but I can only imagine what knowledge lies hidden away in the dusty pages of the thousands of books that were safely stocked away on those shelfs.

We stayed for a good three hours, then went outside in the garden and met a nice lady from California who was there with her two kids to visit a few different cities around Europe. She told us how lucky we were that we got to go to a different country in just a matter of hours and hearing how she rarely ever even goes outside of California, I couldn't agree more.

Then came the highlight of my week and so far of my month. We visited the Anne Frank house! I have always been fascinated about World War II and loved learning about it in school. It still baffles me how things like this can even happen and that mass murder has occurred multiple times in history. 

The line was quite long and for a moment it only seemed to get longer and longer, without us getting any closer to the entrance, but maybe that's just because it was so cold outside. I think we queued up for about 30 minutes (not the slowest waiting line I've been in) and then got to go inside. It was very crowded, but it didn't really bother me that much, since I wanted to take enough time to really grasp everything that was there to see.

There were photos of Anne Frank, her father Otto Frank and the six other Jews who were in hiding for so long. While walking around the house you came across little film fragments of people talking about Anne and the war that went on for five years. How she was such a joyful girl and no one had any idea that she had been having these deep thoughts about life. She never thought she would die during the war, but she couldn't picture a life after it either. Locked away in those rooms for so long, unable to make any noise after it got dark or run water or play music. But she wrote her heart out and I think we can only appreciate how this little girl took it upon her to write about everything that had been going on, so that maybe in the future people could realise how wrong they had been and now they do.

The rooms where the eight people had been in hiding remain empty on request of Otto Frank, but the pictures Anne put up on her wall were still there. I bought five postcards at the gift shop to hang up on my wall, in honour of Anne and the many Jews who's lives were taken away and their families and ancestors that to this day still have to live with the horrors that took place.

Speak to you soon, 

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