Saturday 7th August- First Full Day in Amsterdam
After a quick shower, I retreated downstairs in the small hotel for a few minutes to myself and a nice cup of coffee, during which I was accompanied by the hotel’s very cute and slightly psychotic resident cat!
When the others came down to join me, we were told that for this weekend in Amsterdam, we should expect irregular trams and hundreds of people due to the Gay Pride celebrations.
We therefore began a very long and wet walk to the centre of Amsterdam, trying to locate our way to Anne Frank’s House.
After a quick stop at a coffee house, where a nice Swiss man helped us with directions, we eventually found the hour-long queue outside Anne Frank’s House. With umbrellas up, we waited in-line, watching the crowds flock by in pink cowboy hats and garlands.
Finally, the wait was over, and we managed to get inside the House.
Unfortunately, we were not allowed to take pictures inside; however, the feelings and mental pictures of the interior will stay with me forever.
Whilst all of the rooms were empty, small reminders of the Frank family adorned the walls and made me feel very humble and emotional. In particular, small pencil marks on the living room wallpaper marking Anne and Margot’s growth during their time in hiding, really touched me. In Anne’s room, her movie photographs and posters still covered the walls of the small bedroom, and the cold, still temperature of the house felt almost as if it were waiting for the family’s return.
A small room at the end of the house contained the original diary of Anne Frank, with its tiny writing displayed behind a pane of glass. In this room were also several information boards, informing us of the tragedy which befell the Frank and Van Daan families after they were caught.
Following our rather poignant morning, we managed to manoeuvre our way through the crowds to Screaming Beans cafe, where we had lunch. Kat and Hannah decided that they wanted to spend the afternoon watching the Gay Pride parade – and locating a recommended waffle house – whilst Lexi and I opted for souvenir shopping and Madame Tussauds.
On entrance to Madame Tussauds, Lexi and I had our photo taken with Barack Obama, followed by a walk through the history of Amsterdam, and onto the celebrity world containing Johnny Depp, Elvis, David Bowie, Brad and Angelina and loads of other famous faces.
After our brush with the wax shoulders of celebrities, Lexi and I managed to find our way back to the hotel through the ever increasing crowds of Gay Pride celebrators. We had several rounds of UNO, before Kat and Hannah returned, rather less exhausted than the two of us as they had managed to get the tram back to the hotel.
That night we went for dinner again at the local Italian restaurant, making sure to try something different on the menu!