Posted by: ourtravelingcircus | June 29, 2012


After we got home last night, Tim calculated that we walked 7.2 miles through Amsterdam, and back and forth from our rental house to the Haarlem train station. Here is Margaret when we were almost back to the house. She was not wearing the most comfortable shoes and I think the whole day felt a little like the Bataan Death March for her.

But back to Amsterdam. Really, it’s very impressive that some of these ancient houses are still standing and seem in good repair. I can’t figure out how they get glass to work in the windows.

So many very beautiful doorways. Climbing roses, hydrangea, and hollyhocks everywhere. I just loved that.

We walked through the flower market. I wish we could buy bulbs to take home, but of course the US wouldn’t allow them in. They wouldn’t allow this either.

Not too far from the Rijksmuseum, we came upon this public garden with at least a dozen lizard statues. Part of the humor was just because they were so unexpected. Delightful!

We’d already walked quite a while before we got to the Rijksmuseum, and I’m afraid this post might best be titled, The Mind Can Absorb What the Feet Can Endure.

The museum has a treasure hunt game for the children, which Elizabeth just loved and Margaret enjoyed too. Both of them were rewarded with a post card at the end for completing the treasure hunt. I learned a few things, too!

I can honestly say Elizabeth absolutely loved this museum, at least as much as any of the adults. The treasure hunt helped, I’m sure, but she had seen some videos at home of Rembrandt for kids and was intrigued by them. She kept asking for my phone to take pictures. So here is the Rijksmuseum as viewed by Elizabeth:

Her favorite painting of the lot. I didn’t even notice it.

She loved this one. Rembrandt’s Anna:

This was my favorite, by Pieter de Hooch. I’ve enjoyed his paintings for years.

Then we went to the Anne Frank house. You’re not allowed to take pictures there, so the following aren’t ours. I’d heard that the contrast between the Anne Frank house and the Corrie ten Boom house was pretty interesting, and here is my conclusion: the Jews who hid with the ten Booms were actually fairly well off. They essentially lived a normal life inside the house except for the times they had to evacuate to the hiding place. The Franks and those with them had to live with black out curtains at the windows during all the daylight hours. They had to sit still and could not move normally through the house. The darkness was oppressive just during the hour I was in the house. I can’t imagine living that way for two years. It was sad too to realize that of the eight people living in the Anne Frank house, only one survived the holocaust. Of the seven people in the ten Boom’s hiding place at the time of the raid, only one died during the rest of the war.

The neatest thing for me was to see the actual diary. I wasn’t expecting that.

And back to Haarlem. After Amsterdam it seemed even cleaner and more beautiful.




  1. Would have chills seeing the actual diary! Lovely post.

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