Had a great sleep until 7am and felt like a million dollars compared to my exhausted self last night!! This hostel is huge and I found a fairly private area to do my workout before having breakfast down in the basement where I looked out onto the canal beside the hostel. I had my own food I had bought with me and then headed out around 9am.
The sky was blue and it was a lovely crisp 12 degrees outside and got up to around 20 in the afternoon . I caught the free ferry back over to Central Station which literally does every 5 minutes and is always so full of bikes and people.
I got myself very lost heading to the Anne Frank House. The architecture along the riverfront is very modern and quite different from anything I have ever seen and looked every cool. Buildings were all very unusual shapes and angles. There are bikes everywhere, trams and not really that many cars at all. There are canals everywhere off the Amstel River and in the old part of town nothing is above 4 stories high except church towers and was all built in the 16th century. The terraced houses had different shaped decorated gables and are very narrow.
I eventually asked directions and found Prinsengracht road and canal that the Anne Frank House was on. It was a pretty canal with some interesting bakeries, cheese shops and flea market that I andered through.
I had bought a ticket to the Anne Frank House online a few weeks ago for 9E for the 10.45am entry so glad I did as they were all sold out and without ticket you had to line up outside the house from 3.30pm and there were hundreds of people hoping to get in.
You were given an audio tour and could take a long as you wanted to do it. Where Anne and her family and 4 others lived for 2 years in hiding was through a secret passageway leading to an empty office space behind her fathers office. Someone eventually gave them away and they were sent to Auschwitz and out of the 8 of them only her father survived. Ann and her sister Margo died of typhus only a short time before the camp was liberated - she was just 15 years old. It was really well displayed and I am inspired to read the book again as I haven't read it since I was grade 8 !!
The part of town where most Jews had lived prior to the war had 80,000 people living there but after the war only 5000 returned.
I took an hour to go through the museum in her memory and then wandered up to the corner to the Westertower church and paid 8E for a guided tour to climb the tower. Not only do I love the view from heights but love the exercise gong up stairs.!! I had 30 minuted to wait so sat in the sun by the canal reading my new book called "The last 7 months of Anne Frank" . We saw a massive bell that weighed a few thousand kilogram and this really different bell piano that looks like a wooden piano but is connected to bells. You have to use a lot of force and hit the wooden keys with your fist!
The view was great from the top as it is one of the highest buildings in the old town.
I then jumped on a canal boat for a 1 1/2 hour tour for 18 E. It got hot sitting in the sun but was cool in the shade....even had my umbrella out for a bit to keep the sun off .Along many of the canals are houseboats that are connected to power, water and sewerage. There are 2500 residential houseboats in Amsterdam! Some have gardens on top and some look more like demountable on pontoons. On the top of the gabled homes are hoisting hooks that can lift furniture up and down when people move out and the buildings also lean slightly forward so that when things are lifted they won't hit the front of the building.
Floating in the breeze all day were hundreds of small leaves falling from trees and covering the ground and water in canals and looking like snow. it looked so pretty as they fluttered down.
I spent the afternoon walking around for the next 4 hours, past the palace place where the king lives, up shopping streets, to the oldest bridge called skinny bridge, the flower markets ( there wasn't too many flowers there as tulip season is nearly finished) , over bridge after bridge over canals, through part of the red light district ( very sad) , past lots of marijuana shops. I stopped in to one of the many "Tours and Tickets" shops and booked a trip for tomorrow. Before heading home I ate at a Vegetarian place and got falafel and salad in pita bread for 5.50 E . It was a lovely day
Accommodation 30 E
Food: 15.5 E
Tours: 18 E Canal boat 8 E Tower Climb 9 E Ann Frank House
Transport : None