"" Writer's Wanderings: Amsterdam--Anne Frank House

Monday, July 06, 2009

Amsterdam--Anne Frank House

Central Station in Amsterdam is about a ten minute walk from our hotel and from there, we can catch a train, a tram or a bus to most anywhere we want to go. It's an exciting place to start each day. The station is a beautiful building that is being restored and reorganized.

Our first full day in Amsterdam we spent on a walking tour per the instructions in the Rick Steves' Amsterdam book. I had made a Google map at home following the directions Steves gives. His hand drawn maps are sometimes a bit confusing to me. We found that much of what we saw, we had already observed and heard about as we cruised the canals the day before. The best part of the day however was spent in the area of the Anne Frank House.

We prebooked our visit and had to kill a little time before our 2:30 ticket time. Prebooking allowed us to pass up all those people standing in line and go in a side door. Absolutely worth the extra money. While we waited, we explored the area around the Westerkerk (church). Across the square was a grocery store, Albert Heijn, where we found bottled water and a cheese and veggie sandwich that we purchased to take back to the square and sit on a bench and eat while we watched an artist at work.

At the appointed time, we went in the door marked for reservations only (had to ring a buzzer to get in). The receptionist pointed us in the right direction to get started exploring the museum and from there, we just followed the arrows. The tour begins in the front part of the house where the Frank business was and then you are directed up the stairs and through the hidden doorway behing a bookcase.

The rooms are bare but there are two models that show what they would have looked like furnished. There is also a video to watch that was allowed to be made with furnishings in the home like those of the Frank family and the others (the Van Pels and son Peter, and Fritz Pfeffer) who hid there for two years while the Nazis hunted down Jews throughout the city.

In the middle of one room is one of Anne's diarys in her handwriting. It was an amazing experience to actually see it in the original form.

If you've never read the Diary Of A Young Girl, put it on your list to read. Her words are full of the emotion of the times and well written for a young girl with aspirations to become a writer.
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