Amsterdam part two
Our day once again started off early. We headed out to the train station before the sun even came up this morning, but we still missed the bus. Luckily, we made it to the station on time to hop on our 8:30 train to Amsterdam Centraal. The train station in Amsterdam is beautiful and architectural, yet modern at the same time. It was really cool to see. And it was cool to get to see Amsterdam from a "Dutch" perspective from some grad students who went with us.
We walked through the red light district first thing in the morning to get through Chinatown and Dam Square, and it was quite a different experience than when I saw it the other night. I actually got to take pictures of buildings and lights because only one of the "ladies" was in her window at 9 am. I still find it completely odd that the Netherlands oldest church is now smack-dab in the middle of the red light district. It sticks out like a sore thumb, even though all the buildings are old and beautiful.
We continued down some random side streets all the while following our grad student friends until we reached the "Anne Frank Huis". We weren't allowed to take pictures inside, but there really wasn't much to take pictures of anyways. It was a pretty small place and it was under construction. It always irks me to think about the fact that Nazis have walked down the same streets I walked today, some of them to take Anne Frank from her house and march her off to a camp.
Keeping with the theme of World War 2 (after a lunch break and my first ever bowl of tomato soup) we continued walking until we reached the Jewish quarter of Amsterdam and the Jewish Historical Museum. It hit me quite hard to hear personal stories of family members narrowly escaping capture by the Nazis. It was a solemn day for the most part in the Jewish quarter, but like everything else, it was also beautiful and with its own history behind every building and on every street.
From the Jewish Historical Museum, we all headed out for a drink at a bar in Dam Square. They must have been trying to use up New Year's decorations, because my apple juice was decorated quite frilly looking and so was Tyler's hot cocoa.
I also finally ate a real meal here in the Netherlands. I have practically been surviving off of bread and cheese since I got here 11 days ago. I am not complaining, mind you. I love bread and cheese. But I also loved the udon noodles I got today at Wok to Walk. After dinner, I headed back to the dorms while most other people went out, and watched half of a movie with my hall mates until the internet stopped working for us.
A few more things... 1) If I come back with some type of accent, just accept it. It might not even be Dutch. And 2) the street art in Amsterdam really draws me to this city, so I thought I should share some of the little things that brought me some joy today.