went on the new German high-speed train, but the train didn't go very fast
and it took more than two hours to get to Amsterdam from Düsseldorf.
It was Koniginnendag (Queen's Day) and we didn't know that when we bought
our non-refundable tickets (Euro 50). I hate crowds but I thought, oh well,
it might be interesting to see the festivities. But really, I can't recommend
it, unless you want to join in the fun. People were dressed in orange and
were wearing orange plastic crowns. Many of them were partying on boats
in the canals. But if you want to go sightseeing, it's really difficult
to get through the crowds sometimes. Besides there was garbage everywhere
and people pissing in the corners. At least the museums were open, so we
tried to get away from the crowds in there.
went along Damrak to the Dam square ant then to the Anne Frank House in
Prinsengracht. As I had just finished reading her diaries it was doubly
interesting to see the wartime hiding place of the Jewish girl and her
family. It was nice to walk along the canals afterwards and it was less
crowded there. For lunch we went to a pizza place, but the pizza was awful:
charred and with some clumps of spinach that looked disgusting. Right next
to us was a music box and five minutes after we were seated outside, they
started to turn it up to disco level! So we swallowed our food quickly
and made a dash. Afterwards we went to the Van Gogh Museum which also features
his contemporaries (Euro 8.70). When we tried to return over the bridge
at the Rijksmuseum we nearly got squeezed to death in the crowd. We then
went along the Amstel to the bridge called Magere Brug and the Montelbaan
tower. Finally and to relax our feet we intended to go on a canal tour,
but we had spent our last money at the museum and couldn't find a working
When we finally got to an exchange office at the station,
it was too late to go on the tour as we only had one and a half hours left
before we had to take the train. So we just tried to find a place to grab
a snack and have a drink, but we couldn't find anything decent enough near
the station. Eventually we just had a slice of pizza and a hamburger at
the station and finally succeeded in finding a place at the overcrowded
station pub where
we had a cappuccino.
I would still have liked to see the Begijnhof
at the Spui, one of Amsterdam's many courtyards hidden away between houses,
and Rembrandt's house in the old Jewish quarter. The Rijksmuseum would
probably have been worth a visit, too, but then we would have needed more
time. It would also have been good to admire the view of Amsterdam from
the top in the café Metz at the corner of Leidsestraat and Keizersgracht.
Well, maybe another time...