Thursday, 10 March 2016

The Water Walker

I'm in the hostel bar with a cup of tea and some syrup biscuits I'm happy to have consumed, along with a most effective quote I learnt here in Amsterdam.

'To build a future, you have to know the past.'

Those words were voiced by Otto Frank back in 1967 and they carry weight. His daughter Anne may be one of the most influential voices in history (I'm going so far as to say she was the Malala Yousafzai of her time) but the father had something positive that I wanted to share. I'm nearing the end of my journey and I already find myself planning the next one, again in the European winter which quite frankly, I don't mind. I've learnt a lot in the past seven weeks and I'm most convinced that next time things will be SO much better.
Amsterdam, the Netherlands (taken 2016)

Amsterdam, where do I begin? This stop has almost been five years in the making. My friend moved out to Holland with her family to be with family and I made the promise to come and visit. Well, the European stint was coming to fruition and making that visit became THE priority of the Netherlands. It's why I'm here!

The day out in Emmeloord was great and a return to reality which I was in dire want of. The simplist of things can make THE most profound of changes. After that I spent most of my remaining time in Amsterdam, with a few hours out in Zaanse Schan which I'm thankful for having added on at the last minute. Why, you might be asking? Well it's because nothing has gone wrong!!!
Amsterdam, the Netherlands (taken 2016)

I. Love. This. City! Melbourne might have a river running through it but Amsterdam has canals. CANALS PEOPLE!!! This city was built ON water and I never stopped walking it, hence the reason for this cyber postcard's title if anyone was scratching their head. Back to business, this city left me smiling. I tend to stray away from spending too much time in an urban environment (see the postcard about Spain and you'll read my thoughts on Madrid) but the Dutch capital has had the opposite effect on me. I want to see more. I want to see the Netherlands; plenty I've heard has sparked my interest in Rotterdam and the Hague. A return trip will be happening! This country makes me want to write.

I've kept myself busy for the past few days and so some stories can be told. Prior to coming some places had made my list ie the Anne Frank House, Zaanse Schan and some others. A few extras were thrown in simply because I could. There are a lot of positivos here kiddies, which I will get to, but with only one or two negatives thrown in for balance.
Royal Palace, Amsterdam, the Netherlands (taken 2016)

First one is how similar the Dutch pave their main roads and footpaths (thought I'd seen the end of that blood sport road madness back in Morocco but no) and the second is that NONE of the souvenir shops sell little wooden animals. Magnets and salt and pepper shakers doing eachother, yes, but no wooden animals?! The OCD was getting to me which I'm not a fan of, but with the wise advice of my quote bitch back home I settled on a wooden tulip. Now, time for positivos!

A blasphemy I consider it to come to Amsterdam and ignore the Anne Frank House; this is THE place to see. Like a boss though I didn't book my ticket online months in advance (which no one was kidding about) and so I was destined to stand in the line. However, when one has awoken early and given the finger to the cold the first place in said line is assured. Well worth the sleep deprivation. Staying on topic, I'll add that never have I walked through a more thought provoking environment. Looking at the diary itself was a privilege.
Anne Frank Statue, Amsterdam, the Netherlands (taken 2016)

I went to Zaanse Schan for one thing; windmills. The train ride out there was easy enough, as was the one kilometre walk to the place itself. You're treated to a very 'industrial path' at first, which I wasn't caring for, but after some steps you get the postcard imagry it's known for. The windmills here treated me to some humble living and the colours of the houses convinced me that Heineken sponsored their construction.
Zannse Schan, the Netherlands (taken 2016)

When the many think of Amsterdam there's one place that might come to mind automatically... especially if you're a nympho (I'm NOT one of those FYI!!!) The Red Light District wasn't on my original to-do list but after adding on some time I thought, what the hell. Doing a walking tour which featured a variety of interested (and maybe perverted) individuals, we entered the realm of the sex worker. Thanks to the guide, who I must get around to reviewing on Tripadvisor, I laughed. The little-dressed ladies waving at me from their rented windows wasn't bad either.
The Red Light District, Amsterdam, the Netherlands (taken 2016)

And that's where I'll leave things... for now. If I kept going I'll start repeating myself and that's a torment I don't wish to inflict upon myself. This whole trip has come with its ups and downs, which has been no secret if you're Friends with me on the Facebook abomination, but I am grateful and optimistic that my final steps will be towards a greater conclusion.

Amsterdam... and the rest of the Netherlands which I will explore in depth hopefully after next year, I say thank you.
Amsterdam, the Netherlands (taken 2016)

1 comment:

  1. I went to Amsterdam last year. I was for one day trip only, and I really love it. Unfortunately I din't have time to visit the Anne Frank house but it will be first in my list when I go back there. The other day I was looking some articles on internet about reincarnation (dont ask me why I like this subject ;-)) and I found this particular case of Barbro Karlén, this swedish writer, who seems to be the reincarnation of Anna Frank.I did not about it and the story gave chills.