Amsterdam, Netherlands: A Few Days Around Amsterdam – by Barb

We were unable to get tickets online for Anne Frank’s House, so we arrived very early and joined the long line. It took us a couple of hours but we finally made it to the entrance way.

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Unfortunately Kim, Mom, Lana and Ellie had to head off to a food tour so they were forced to do a very quick run through in order to make it to their tour on time. The rest of us were able to move along at our own pace and really take in everything that Anne’s story represents. The boys and I had read part of the Dairy of Anne Frank ahead of time and watched the movie, which helped them to get more out of the visit. I thought they had done an excellent job of providing short video clips and snippets of information along the way so that you learned a lot but weren’t completely overwhelmed.

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The video at the end had a big impact on us as well. We all came away feeling rather somber and horrified that people could treat others that way.

 

While we were in Netherlands, we were all delighted that we were finally able to celebrate Liam’s birthday with him, in person! Since he lives in Luxembourg we don’t usually get to see him on his birthday. This year he got to celebrate with many of his cousins!

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Of course the Netherlands is world renowned for its tulips so we took a day trip to Keukenhoff. Keukenhoff, also known as the Garden of Europe, is one of the world’s largest flower gardens, with approximately 7 million flower bulbs planted annually in the park, which covers an area of 32 hectares. We were fortunate that the day we were there, there it was Dutch Heritage weekend, which meant people were in cultural dress and they had dance presentations, cheese tasting, and much more.

 

To better understand Dutch history and culture, we spent a day at The Zaanse Schans. It is a living and working community that dates back to the 18th and 19th centuries. It’s packed with wooden windmills, barns, houses and museums and built in the typically Dutch wooden architectural style. We learned how the Dutch clogs are made and how the windmills were used.

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