It is strange for me to look for bike traffic; several times, Dennis had to yank me off the bicycle path. Unless riding for sport, most commute riders (and their children) do not wear helmets. Most bikes are older models equipped with baskets or panniers. Only a few have lights or reflectors.
We arrived at the Amsterdam Central Train Station around noon. The town’s cafe-lined streets are full of pedestrians (many tourists), trolly cars, and bicyclists. We passed several museums such as the Medieval Museum of Torture, Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, the Sexmuseum, Van Gogh, and others. We also walked by several Ben & Jerry’s; somehow I managed to resist the call of Double Fudge Brownie, thinking that there must be a Dutch delight in my future.
Maureen at the Tourists Office was very helpful in finding us a room and telling us about the various “must see” tours. We plan to visit Anne Frank’s house, the canals, the Red Light District (for Dennis’ sake), and take a walking tour, which we enjoyed doing in Galway and London.
We are staying at the Hotel Museumzicht in the Museum and Fashion District. To access the lobby of this ancient hotel, you need to climb what is probably the world’s most steep interior stairway–10 risers to the front door, and then another 52 to our room. We are staying on the “first” floor overlooking trees below. (See right below.)
After a delightful Indonesian dinner, we schlepped over to Anne Frank’s house. I cannot imagine living in the annex attic for two years, as she did. At thirteen, when she went into hiding, her friends recall that she was a leader, vivacious, bubbly. Once in hiding, she had to sit still and not make any noise. We are lucky her diary and writings were saved and that her father had the courage to publish them.
For the first time in about six weeks, I am warm; it is about 80 F and sunny. Perhaps this is why I love Amsterdam so much.