Urgh, day 1 and day 2 had seen us being incredibly lucky with the weather, but day 3 started with rain. Lots of rain. Again, we found ourselves waking up before the sun. We flung back our curtains to be greeted by a very murky and miserable Amsterdam. The rain was absolutely pouring down. I decided that a bath was needed to warm myself up. I enjoyed my soak and crossed my fingers for the deluge of rain to stop. A leisurely soak later and the rain was still tipping down at a ferocious rate. We headed downstairs and enjoyed a lazy breakfast. We were in no rush to get outdoors.
Finally, the rain started to ease, so we grabbed our coats and headed out into Amsterdam. Today’s plan was to visit the Anne Frank House. We had already booked our tickets. You have to book tickets online or you won’t be able to get in. There were a lot of disappointed tourists waiting outside the Anne Frank House. You don’t want to be one of them!
We headed towards the Anne Frank House, stopping to explore the shopping district on the way. There was a huge Primark; that caused much excitement as we don’t have one in Jersey. I think that it had 6 floors of clothes and accessories. Heaven. We also passed some really cool and quirky shops. It was lovely to get indoors and explore the shops because the weather felt perishing. The temperature had plummeted even further than the previous day.
We arrived at The Anne Frank House which is in a really pretty part of Amsterdam. It’s close to 9 Streets, an area that is renowned for its picture-perfect streets, cool shops and wonderful eateries. We headed into The Anne Frank House and I was a little nervous because I wasn’t sure how Oldest would find the experience. We had decided that Mr C and Youngest would wait for us in the opposite pancake house as we felt that Youngest would be too young to appreciate the seriousness of the house. I imagined that it would be a very quiet and reflective experience and I was worried that Youngest wouldn’t be very happy with that.
The Anne Frank House
At the start of our visit we were given a talk in which the timeline of Anne Frank was explained to us. It was a fascinating and insightful talk. It also highlighted how we have to be careful, how we have to make sure that we stand up to discrimination. How we can never relax and how we always have to be on alert for extremist behaviour. It seemed very fitting with everything that is going on in America and the UK. I am fearful for the future as we seem to be living in a world that often feels very intolerant.
After the talk you are given an audio guide; as you head through the house there are different stages to point your audio guide at and then you learn about the significance of the room. It was fairly busy walking through the house but it still feels like an intimate experience. It’s you in your very own bubble as you wander through the house listening to the audio guide. There were several times when I was almost moved to tears. When I saw the door behind the hinged bookcase that was hiding the steps to the attic, my heart broke. You feel overcome with emotion as you step behind the bookcase and climb the steep stairs up into the attic.
Incredibly Moving Experience
To see how the Anne Frank family lived made me feel so sad and overwhelmed. To have to lock yourself away, to not be able to look out of the windows in case anyone sees you, having to tiptoe around so that no one in the rooms below hears you, being forced to make yourself invisible. I can’t begin to imagine how that must have felt but it must have been incredibly stifling and suffocating hiding in the attic. Walking around the Anne Frank House is a deeply profound experience and I would urge you to visit.
After the Anne Frank House we headed over the road to the Pancake House. A chain of pancake houses in Amsterdam. Who knew that there were so many different types of pancakes? There was a HUGE pancake menu. It was no surprise when the girls went for sweet pancakes. Oldest chose the chocolate ones (just looking at the stack of them with the lashings of chocolate made me feel a little sick), and Youngest chose blueberry. Predictably both of them were unable to finish their piles of pancakes. However, I can’t complain as I was also unable to finish mine – a huge traditional Dutch pancake of cheese and apple. I managed about half before I had to admit defeat. It also occurred to me that there is a reason for eating pancakes just once a year, I’m not actually that keen on them. Be warned the pancakes are very expensive! Damn that poor exchange rate.
We decided that we needed to walk off our pancakes. We rolled our way around 9 Streets and all of the shops. I perused several beautiful shops and fell in love with all the clothes but didn’t buy any due to the expense. Sad times. We were all feeling so cold that we decided to head back to the hotel mid-afternoon where we warmed ourselves up and just chilled out.
In my next post find out how we spent our last morning in Amsterdam. Was there some swinging involved? Oooh-er missus.