Trip to Amsterdam
20 March 2004
name Amsterdam is said to derive from "Amstelledamme"
which means "Dam across the river". Amsterdam is also
said to be rescued from the water. By the way, New York
in the USA was once called "New Amsterdam" it was renamed
New York in 1664 when captured by the English.
Anne Frank House; It was really weird and everything,
going through the bookcase up the very narrow steep creeky
stairs to the hide away.
Try to avoid going at the weekend as the queue will be
Frank was a German Jewish girl who with her family ran
away to live in hiding in Amsterdam during the second
world war. Annes Dad was Managing Director of a company
that made products for jam making, the factory and office
building at 263 Prinsenegracht had a secret annex at the
back. This annex over some months was prepared and furnished
with the family's furniture as a hideaway; they took residence
on 6th July 1942. A large bookcase was erected covering
the doorway to the annex.
is famous for the diary she kept which starts on 12 June
1942 on her 13th birthday; in it she talks of her feelings
about her self, her family, friends and Peter. She sometimes
mentions the struggle she has being under the imprisonment
of hiding and of war but the resilience of a child and
their ability to lead a normal life whatever the predicament
shines through the very eloquent writing about the usual
teenagers feelings of everyday life.
Frank family was Anne, her older sister Margot, Mum Edith
and Dad Otto pet named Pim. There were also 4 others staying
in the secret annex called Hermann van Pels and his wife
Auguste and son Peter and a dentist called Fritz Pfeffer.
The people that helped were Miep Gies-Santrouschitz, Victor
Krugler, Bep Voskuijl and Jo Kleiman they were employees
last entry in the diary was on 1 August 1944; on the 4th
August of the same year they, on being betrayed, were
arrested when SS security services officers and detectives
stormed into the no longer secret annex and were taken
to a prison. On the 8th August 1944 they were taken to
Westerbork Transit Camp before being transferred to Auschwitz
concentration camp and finally between end of October
44 to beginning of November 1944 transferred to Bergen-Besel
Concentration camp where Anne died in March 1945. Had
she survived a few weeks more she would have seen the
day on April 15th 1945 when the English Army gave the
survivors back their freedom from the camp and the restrictions
they had faced for what must have seem like an eternity.
the eight secret annex inhabitants only Otto Frank survived
and on his return to the secret annex he was given Anne's
diary, by Miep which taught him of the daughter he realised,
he barely knew as an individual. He worked on getting
the diary published and it was so in 1947.
are everywhere in Amsterdam and are all old. Lots of the
bikes are not padlocked and mostly all look the same.
Did a boat trip on the canals we did; in my plastic yellow
sailor coat I was dressed the part. We went passed the
Mayors gaff, I swear I saw a face peering through the
window and a hand wave at me. We also went past the clock
tower called "Crazy Jack! as it always tells the
we tried the coffee house opposite the room which I think
might be the oldest one, only since 1985 though!
23rd March - Day of departure
smelt our way through a small flower market and popped
into a little shop to buy fridge magnets. I'm
a bit upset I didn't tip furry toe through the tulips
but in all I had a good time as did Debra, Alan and Choc-Ice.
My closing bit of advice is try the Anne Frank museum
but don't' try space
trip to Amsterdam
a day trip this time. Alan moaned and groaned all day
long all over the gaff, so the day was not as good as
it could have been. Debra and I wanted to go to the Van
Gogh museum, it was out of the question with moany Al
in tow though.
Did lunch in a Spanish tapas bar we at eat on our first
trip to Amsterdam.
couple of police women stopped, assisting a member of
the public, and I tried to frame them within a 3 branched
candle stick thing on the table by the window, I'd been
taking a few photos of different people like this as a
sort of time whatever they call it things!
of duty frees were got at the airport which persuaded
Alan it was worth the trek after all.
trip to Amsterdam
10 September 2005 - Day 1
help relieve Alan of his fear of flying we chose to take
a 3rd trip to Amsterdam as it is a short flight. The only
thing is was that he chickened out before getting the
train at Borehamwood station. He had no need to have worried
as the flight was fine.
We stayed at a camping site in a hut with a bunk bed.
Thanks to Alan not coming I had my own bed and I took
the top bunk whilst Debra was in the bottom.
find out more about Camping Zeeburg see their website
but don't forget to come back here! What is real cool
about the campsite is that it has a small animal farm
with goats, a brown sheep hens and a turkey. I said hello
to a few
went and Debra emailed Alan to say we had arrived safely.
11 September - Day 2
a stroll around Flevo Park speaking to some of the joggers
before getting tram 14 to Dam Square.
The tram in front must have broke down and we were stuck
for ages. Still it gave me a chance to sit in the drivers
seat for a photo.
came upon Volendammer Vishahandel haring shop (herring)
and shared a lovely fresh raw herring roll with mild pickled
onion and gherkins in wholemeal with poppy seeds, it was
yummy yum yum.
t wo hours at the History of Amsterdam Museum. Normally
6 euros for adults, today it was a special free day, so
Debra was happy.
Here we learnt about how Amsterdam was rescued from the
sea by being drained by diking. We saw the development
from early to present day and population rise to its present
time. We also saw examples of culture and living changes
trough time on computers.
There was a set up of an old pub in which I tried to get
a drink form the bar laying under a beer tap, but nothing
came out; you can't get the service these days even if
you try to serve yourself.
the museum we came upon a small art gallery that had a
artists sales event and everything. We didn't know if
it was a public event or invited guests only but no-one
asked to see an invitation and we got a glass of wine
as we looked at the art and spoke to a few people.
walking around taking photos of bikes ridden by adults
with babies, small kids and dogs strapped on in various
fashions. We had more herring too, this time from a street
stand, it was not as good as from the shop earlier but
popular fast food joint in Amsterdam is Febo, as well
as buying from the counter you can self serve from coin
slot glass cabinets that get replenished soon after.
took a well needed break for a beer in a Dutch pub Cafe
Otten where I was welcomed and even had my own small glass
of beer with a straw. I drank most of Debra's Amstel Malt
too and had a fuss made of me by people especially when
leaving when a group of men sang a song to me in football
fan style. It was well cool; but then, I'm such a cool
dude teddy bear. Hi to everyone we met in there.
We came across a young man doing a stunt of juggling with
a very large knife, flamed torch and apple of which he
was to take 3 bites whilst juggling with the lethal weapons
on top of a free standing ladder.
then went to that district with the same colour light
as as a ripe tomato. There I spoke to a lovely young lady
standing in a doorway with a crowd of men around her.
She had in her hand a black leather swishing type of implement
which went with what she was wearing. I asked her to swish
me with it and laughing she obliged. Happy, I thanked
and kissed her.
12 September - Day 3
got a train from Central station to Zaanse
Schans where there are windmills and pretty green
painted wooden buildings along the River Zaan. The nearest
train station is Koog-Zaandijk which is 4 stops (20 minutes)
by train from Amsterdam Central Station. Take the stop
train direction Alkmaar to Koog-Zaandijk (4.90 euros return).
From the station follow the green signs to the Zaanse
Schans. It is about a 15-minute walk from the station
to the Zaanse Schans. Take a photo or video from the bridge
over the River Zaan of the windmills before carrying on
to the Zaanse Schans.
well as the windmills which there are workshops. You get
free entry to the
Woodenshoe Workshop and also the Catharina Hoeve Cheese
Workshop where we sampled some decent Gouda.
costume museum (1 euro) was closed so we missed out there.
We met the nice owner of a toy and wooded puppet shop
and he had a look at my website on his laptop. Hi.
13 September - Day of departure
left the campsite about 10.30am had some more herring
at Volendammer Vishahandel haring shop. A
quick look around the shops before heading for the airport
where Debra got a bottle of Drysack sherry which doesn't
seem to be sold any more in the UK and a bottle of Boomsma
Jeneva (Dutch Gin).