Saturday, September 16, 2006

Greetings from Amsterdam

Greetings from Amsterdam! Here we are on day three of our sojourns, and having an amazing time. Lots of walking and talking, lots of shopping, and surprisingly little eating, which is not for lack of trying, to be sure. For example, yesterday, at around 1:45 in the afternoon, we started talking about going for lunch. We'd just left the Resistance Museum (which was excellent, if a tad overkill), and began discussing lunching possibilities and how they would fit into our meanderings. We ended up sitting down for lunch at around 5pm. Yes, that's right, it took us three hours to get to lunch. We were distracted by markets (I got two Nepalese fleeces for the price of one!), museums and memorials, canals and shops, and nothing we passed seemed quite right.

We've been to the Anne Frank House, wandered through the Jordaan neighborhood (heading back there today for a street festival), strolled along the Amstel and various other canals, stopped in at a multitude of food shops, and pet a plethora of four-legged creatures. But mostly, we've just been walking. Everywhere. The weather has been absolutely glorious (I've gotten a tan!), and we are taking full advantage. We're already talking about coming back, and the thought of having to leave this charming, wonderfully quirky city tomorrow pains me greatly.

Anyway, I suspect the hour is nearly up on my internet café credit, so instead of taking the chance of being cut off, I'm going to stop here. More posting will come at the beginning of the week, I should imagine, when I will get into the nitty gritty, with links (expect a huge plug for our hotel, run by a charming team of gay men who have positively added to our trip and made our stay at the hotel a joy), maybe a few photos, and the usual witty yet intelligent commentary. Hope you're all having as much fun this weekend as I am, but somehow, I seriously doubt that's even possible...

10 comments:

nrg said...

Hey.... I'M having as much fun as you... oh, wait, i'm WITH you...

chchchchch... hey cookie!

Anonymous said...

Hi,

Did you find the Resistance Museum to be better than the Anne Frank House? I am always interested to hear opinions on this as the Dutch Resistance Museum is often overlooked.

Chris
Amsterdam Review

EmahS said...

Ahhh.....Amsterdam! Sounds like you're having a blast! How is the little guy managing with out you?

RR said...

Your vacation sounds amazing so far! I've always wanted to go to the Anne Frank House- how was it???

Liza said...

nrg: :-) hey cookie!

Thanks for the sushi...

Chris: I don't think I'd classify it as being better or worse, just different. I learned a lot more at the Dutch Resistance Museum than I did at the Anne Frank House, as I was already very familiar with her story, and hadn't realized the extent to which the Dutch had resisted the Nazis. I came away from the Anne Frank House feeling sad, whereas I came away from the Resistance Museum feeling both sad and inspired by all of the stories. It had a greater impact on me than the Anne Frank House.

The Resistance Museum is a bit off the beaten path, but I would definitely recommend it. It was absolutely worth the trip. And, because it's off the beaten path, it was virtually empty. The crowds at the Anne Frank House detract from its solemnity, I think. At the Resistance Museum, I was appreciative of the opportunity to be alone with my thoughts, which was difficult at the Anne Frank House.

NRG, have you got anything to add here?

emahs: Apparently, he didn't miss me one bit, but since he's only 2, I didn't take it personally. Next time (and there will definitely be a next time, mark my words!), it will probably be more difficult.

rr: Amsterdam was amazing! I'll write a more extensive post in the coming days.

The Anne Frank House was very interesting, though the crowds detracted a bit, and it has become quite commercial, unfortunately (they have an option to send a message to be added to some online tree of life or something, a gift shop and a cafe). Definitely worth a visit, though.

rami said...

hey! we're back in business.. looking forward to read your extended post...

nrg said...

I think the resistance museum was a place to reflect. To learn how a group of people grappled with the realities of an occupied country and worked together. It was definitely an inspiration. I think we were there for over two hours! The Anne Frank house is difficult. I think if I could sit on the floor of her bedroom all alone and just stare out the window, or at the clippings on her walls, it would open a floodgate of tears for loss of innocence, youth, life. But instead I stood there annoyed at the women ahead who allowed her cell phone to ring for the second time and actually went through part of the tour chatting on it. There were too many people, and not enough of them seemed to really experience what it means to stand in that space. They should consider limiting the numbers who can be there at one time, but with the lines they have, it would be impossible.

Otherwise, Amsterdam was fantabulous!!! Excellent sushi, sangria, paella, strange wanderings down the Zeedijk, conversations that we thought were in english, but apparently weren't (Beelibbeb?), lots of canals, crazy bicyclists, and the best hotel and staff one could ever ask for!!!

Liza said...

NRG hit the nail right on the head with her assessment of the two museums. That woman with the cell phone drove me crazy! When her phone rang once, I just looked at her. When she let it ring a second time before answering, I was just struck dumb.

Perhaps instead of limiting the number of people allowed to enter at any one time, they should have staff members in different areas whose job would be to maintain the sanctity of the environment, to ensure that people obeyed the no-cell-phone rule (I turned mine off as soon as I walked inside), etc.

as said...

yalla, pics please!

lisoosh said...

Japanese food, Spanish food, what, no fondue?