4.19.2011

amsterdam

Yesterday I landed in Amsterdam and had pretty much the easiest airport experience ever- the customs line was short, there is nothing to fill out, and they don't ask questions. Then I went to the luggage claim to see my bag had literally just come out - I was on the train probably within about half hour after landing. Not bad!!

I arrived to my hostel about 1pm, and dropped my bags off and started wandering the city. The weather has been gorgeous so far! The architecture is seriously amazing and the canals are beautiful. I found the Begjinhof, which is a cool enclosed former convent hidden away in the middle of the city. I grabbed dinner at a sidewalk table and did some people watching, and headed to the Anne Frankhuis, which I have wanted to see since I read the diary back in the fall- way before I had any clue I'd actually be here. It was so surreal to be there, and see all the narrow steep staircases and some of their belongings, as well as the actual diaries themselves. The rooms are empty since the furniture was confiscated when they were arrested, and Otto Frank wanted them to remain that way.

In the evening I started chatting with a few girls in my room, and ended up taking a stroll through the red light diistrict which is literally across the canal from my hostel. It was so weird to see. It's strongly advised you don't take pictures there, but you walk down the alleys and there are windows with red lights overtop, and girls inside in lingerie. I may or may not have had a "space cake", haha. I'll let you use your imagination with that one.

Today after free brekkie (which I actually took advantage of and grabbed a free lunch as well) another roomate and I headed out, destination Rijksmuseum. There we saw "The Night Watch"and Rembrandts and Vermeers among others. I bought a "museumkaart" which has already nearly paid for itself, as after a picnic lunch I hit up the modern museum and then finished up at the Van Gogh museum (which was also having a Picasso exhibit).

I finally found a wall charger for my iPhone (note to self, apparently GB adapters aren't universal throughout Europe!) and now I'm off to dinner. Tomorrow I think I will head out to some touristy fishing villages to take a break from all the art that I've oversaturated myself with. Rest assured I've taken a crapload of photos which I'll share when I'm home!

♥ Callah

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