On Saturday November 5th, Chris and I went on a USO (United Service Organizations) tour to Amsterdam, Netherlands. The bus left Saturday at 12:30 AM and we arrived around 8:00 AM. Our tour guide took us through a quick walking tour of a part of the city, then we went to the Anne Frank Museum . We actually walked through the building where the Frank family, the van Pels family, and Fritz Pfeffer, lived while in hiding. As I walked through the hiding place, I was suprised at the size of it. While it was definitely small for the number of people living together, it was bigger than I had pictured in my mind. Throughout the building there were quotes from Anne's diary, some were happy, some sad, and some were so insightful for a young girl to write. I had an enormous lump in my throat throughout the tour. When you stop and thin about what these people went through for so long, what awaited them in the end, I can't imagine living that way.
After the Anne Frank House, we had the rest of the day to explore Amsterdam. It is such a neat city! Cobblestone streets, the department stores in 200 year old buildings, the crazy bicyclists, everything had so much character.
We made it to the Vincent Van Gogh Museum. I have loved Van Gogh for as long as I can remember. I still remember the first time I saw "Starry Night". The way Van Gogh uses colors and shapes is so interesting and beautiful, he could make the most usual object come to life and move you in a way you never thought possible (my personal favorite is "A Pair of Shoes").
As soon as we made it into the museum (tip: go to the Diamond Museum across the street and get the prepaid tickets for the Van Gogh museum, it will save you a good 45 minutes to an hour of waiting in line), I got that lump in my throat again. Here I was, standing inches from works of art I thought I would only ever dream about seeing. It was incredible. I could get right up to the painting and see the strokes Van Gogh had painted. I could have spent hours in there.
After the Van Gogh Museum, Chris and I wandered around the rest of the city, we found an art school that was having an exhibit on the art of computer hacking, so of course Chris went through that! I personally didn't understand most of it, but he really enjoyed it.
We had a really great trip, and I would love to see more of the Netherlands!