Perullo Press

Day 9, Amsterdam

Today was our last full day in Amsterdam. We slept in and took our time getting ready. By the time we left the hotel it was almost time for lunch. We settled for some brunch at a cafe not far from the hotel. I had a tomato & mozzarella sandwich with a fried egg on the side and Jerry enjoyed a Dutch pancake, which looked like a crepe with whatever topping you choose. He chose the tomato, bacon, spinach and egg topped pancake.
[JP:  On an unrelated note, our hotel room was kinda crummy.  The air conditioning didn’t work too well, and it stayed warmer inside than out.  As a result we slept with the window open, on the first floor (american floor 2, euro floor 1) above the street.  I can’t believe how well we slept with that much noise.  We both slept like rocks somehow, but I remember catalogging the sounds in my head for a moment before falling asleep.  TRAM trains blasting by.  TRAM horns.  Bicycle horns.  Car horns.  Cars.  People yelling.  In every language imaginable.  Police sirens.  It was like Times Square, but with trains.  We were on a main intersection by the Centraal station.  Convenient to the train->airport, but not much more going for it…]
Notice how the building on the right is leaning forward?
This was done intentionally with many of the buildings in
the center of Amsterdam in order to make them appear
bigger when looking up at the building….weird!
All those hooks on the tops of these buildings are used to move in. These
buildings have very narrow stairways and hallways so people move in and
out via the windows, which are fairly large. Very cool.
[JP:  Oh crap we almost forgot one of the most nutso things that happened.  So we were walking down the street and POW… a seagull smashes into the streetlamp right over Natalya and falls to the ground.  bizarre.  Freaked some people out]
We set out to the Van Gogh museum after brunch. We noticed how long the lines were for the museum the day before (spanned the length of the block) so we came prepared this time with prepaid tickets and skipped the entire line, it was great. I truly dislike waiting in lines. The museum was kind of crowded inside but I enjoyed the audio tour and learning about Van Gogh and his artist friends. Since the Rijks Museum allowed photography I figured the Van Gogh Museum did as well. It didn’t. I was made aware of this after I took my second photo. So all I got from the Van Gogh Museum are 2 photos.
This is a painting by Van Gogh.
Don’t recall who this painting is by, but it was
one of Van Gogh’s good friends. I really liked
how peaceful this painting was. It makes me
want to be in that field and pick those wild flowers.
After the museum we took a minute to lay out on the grass field outside the museum in between the sun and the trees. The weather was so very lovely outside and there were so many other people picnicking,  reading, [JP: smoking weed] and laying out in the grass that it was irresistible.We laid out in the grass  until we became hungry for a snack. [JP:  unrelated] So we wandered around looking for a cheese shop, which there are tons of in Amsterdam. Who knew? We bought some cheese, caper berries, olives, and crackers and enjoyed this snack in a park nearby.
Relaxing on the grass outside the Van Gogh Museum. It was beautiful outside.
Our picnic consisted of two types of cheese, caper berries, crackers, and olives.
The view from out picnic spot. That’s a little pond full of ducks
beyond the trees.
Take 1: Sunglasses and closed eyes.
They might be opened, you never
Take 2: No sunglasses and I’m fairly
certain my eyes are open this time.
Take 3: An attempt at a no-smiling
photo…I’ve never been good at this.

The Anne Frank House wasn’t too far from where we were and we wanted to see it the day before but once again, the line was very long, about 2 blocks long if not more. We decided if the line was any more reasonable when we got there then we’d wait and see it. Fortunately for us, the line was only about half a block long so we waited in it for about 40 minutes. This was certainly not a waste of time though. The Anne Frank house, which also didn’t allow photography, was a great experience and was very well put together. Surprisingly neither one of us read the full diary of Anne Frank. I remember starting it at some point but never finishing it. Walking through the house, listening and watching all the videos, and reading the excerpts on the walls from her diary were all very touching. We walked through the secret annex where the 8 individuals remained in hiding for 2 years. Of all of them , Anne’s father, Otto, was the only survivor.Being there, walking through those rooms, and imagining Anne, her sister, and another young boy growing up in silence and in hiding was almost surreal.It made me think of my childhood and of all the carefree time we got to spend outdoors and all the other times it was taken for granted. We really had it great. After walking through the house they had a bookstore where you could buy the book in many different languages. We got the full book in English and a shorter version with more photos in Ukrainian.  They didn’t have a full length version in  Ukrainian.

The Anne Frank House
The line for the Anne Frank House today was
about a quarter the size it was the day before.

We continued roaming the streets of Amsterdam after the Anne Frank house, enjoying the beautiful views and stumbled upon an outdoor concert on the water. The musicians were on a boat. It was so peaceful and nice to see. There were these really long tables set up on the streets on either side of the canal which were full of people having dinner and I’m assuming enjoying the concert. We sat around and listened to the concert for a bit.

Concert from the canal. The musicians were on that boat.
We just weren’t that hungry for dinner so we chose a tapas place. We enjoyed our dinner and once again chose to forgo dessert. We enjoyed 2 other dishes that are not pictured because we dug in and ate them before remembering to take a photo. The two dishes were a fresh salad and an octopus salad. Both were very yummy.
Lamb meatballs in red sauce on the left and corn cakes with
goat cheese and red pepper on the right.
Grilled Calamari….as it should always be, grilled, instead of
breaded and fried.
Potatoes with mojo, a tomato sauce with a ton of garlic,
just the way we like it.

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This entry was posted on August 19, 2012 by in Travel.
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