Amsterdam an Immersion in Art & History
My trip to Amsterdam in The Netherlands, didn’t disappoint!
I have always loved travelling alone. I consider it my guilt-free chance to spend time enjoying all the things that I love to do, and to explore the places I want to see. It was during the time that I lived in London, England when I decided to spend a weekend in Amsterdam, and it didn’t disappoint!
A good lesson in travelling light when going to Amsterdam
Upon arrival at Schiphol Airport, to save money and as its very fast, I took the train into the city, which takes less than 20 minutes. Normally a smart traveller, for some reason on this occasion, I brought a small suitcase packed with enough clothes for a fortnight! When I arrived at my tall and very thin hotel, I was dismayed to learn upon check-in that my room was on the very top floor, reached by five stories of extremely narrow, steep stairs that I literally had to climb on all fours dragging my case up one step at a time. I learnt a good lesson in travelling light when going to Amsterdam. However, upon opening the door to my room I was ecstatic. The views over the canal were spectacular. Once rested and changed, I ventured out into the streets.
Make a good sightseeing plan, there is so much to see and do
I walked for hours, through narrow cobbled streets and alongside the canals, backdropped by numerous tall, thin houses that lined the streets, each unique in design and varied in colour. I popped in and out of cheese and coffee shops (some selling more than just coffee) and enjoyed lunch at a local pub where I naturally sampled a few Dutch beers.
Being an avid art lover, I spent the afternoon wandering around Museumplein and enjoyed gazing at the art in the Rijksmuseum. Given more time, I would have loved to visit a couple of other famous art museums including the Van Gogh Museum; and the Stedelijk of Modern Art, housing one of the worlds best collections of contemporary art. Today the Stedelijk features a collection of over ninety thousand paintings, photographs, sculptures, and artifacts that any lover of art would not want to miss.
Anne Frank’s House – an emotional experience
The next morning after a delicious buffet breakfast of cold meats, various breads, and cheeses, I made my way to Prinsengracht to visit Anne Frank’s House. I found this particularly emotional as I wandered through the house to the Secret Annex hidden behind a revolving bookcase, where Anne Frank’s family hid from the Nazis for over two years. It was here that Anne Frank, only fifteen at the time of her death, wrote her famous diary.
Viewing Amsterdam from the water
In the afternoon I took a relaxing Canal boat cruise to view Amsterdam from the water. We coasted passed the canal and old merchant houses from the Dutch Golden Age, numerous bridges and a multitude of cyclists biking along the Canalside.
All in all, it was a wonderful and memorable weekend.