Friday, May 18, 2012

Amsterdam, Holland, Day 2 - Anne Frank Huis, Amsterdam Arena, Groningen

The drive to Amsterdam took just over 2 hours because of a traffic jam.  The weather was drizzling and cloudy.  It rains a lot in Amsterdam, I read somewhere you only get 35 days in a year where it doesn't rain.  Amsterdam is full of canals, just like Hamburg.

12:30pm Arrived took a walk around the city.  The smell of pot greeted me within minutes of stepping out of the vehicle.  You could smell pot walking through the city.

Canals galore, the city is full of them.

Tons of bikes, reminds me of China.  People love biking here.

Along Konningstraat.

This shop is named after a friend of mine.  Haha.

Weigh house square.

Weigh house built in 1488, now a research foundation.

On nieuwe hoogstraat, a canal bridge.

Me. :)

Vandalism along Kloveniersburgwal.

Vandalism along Kloveniersburgwal.

Along Kloveniersburgwal.

Along Kloveniersburgwal.

A bookshop along Kloveniersburgwal.  We sought some shelter here as it was raining.

Duck having a good time.

University of Amsterdam information centre along Binnengasthuisstraat.

Cool antler lights along Binnengasthuisstraat.

Vandalism along Binnengasthuisstraat.

Vandalism along Binnengasthuisstraat.

Along 125 Kloveniersburgwal.

The Staalstraat bridge.

Taken along Halvemaansbrug overlooking the Amstel River.

Taken along Halvemaansbrug overlooking the Amstel River.

Nude poster of a woman, for the sake of others that may read this I've censored it, but I took this picture just to illustrate how liberal this city is.  Taken along Waterlooplein.

Taken along Waterlooplein.

Taken along Waterlooplein.

Building next to the Rembrandt House Museum. :)

Taken along Nieuwe Hoogstraat.

Taken along Nieuwe Hoogstraat.

Taken along Nieuwe Hoogstraat.  Pot lovers rejoice.  Another sign of how liberal it is here.

Drunken Dutch lampost spotted.

Dutch dress shop.

People boating along.

Back to the car!

1:42pm We went back to the car as the parking was only for an hour.  After that we drove to the Anne Frank House, I didn't get to go into the museum, just walked around and took a few photos.  We didn't have parking this time, so I just walked around and snapped photos while the friend waited in the car.  If you're unaware, the teenage Anne Frank wrote a diary (The Diary of a Young Girl) and became famous posthumously after her diary became published.  She was Jewish and a victim of the holocaust.  Her family was in hiding for 2 years, after which they were unfortunately, dobbed in.  Her sister and her died in March 1945.  Her dad Otto Frank was the one who pushed for her diary to be published as she wanted to be an author.  I read the book as a teenager, out of interest.  Never imagined that I would be standing outside her house at one point in my life.

The museum, I took this across the Prinsengracht canal.

Across the street where Anne Frank's family lived with the Prinsengracht canal visible.

Prinsengracht 263, the famous address.

The building at Prinsengracht 263.

Prinsengracht, home of the Anne Frank Museum.

Across the street where Anne Frank's family lived.

2:16pm  Left the Jordaan district and drove to the Amsterdam Arena, home to the Ajax Amsterdam football club.  We didn't find parking till after 3pm, mostly because we were trying to look for free parking.  At one point we were in the Harleem area whose population was very much like Oslo's infamous east side.  Eventually we settled for parking in the arena itself.

Amsterdam Arena.

Fan shop and musem.

We left about 3:30pm for Groningen.  Here's the route we took, it's just over 200km.

View Larger Map

6pm Arrived in Groningen, the largest city to the north of Amsterdam with a population of 190,000.  Tiny.  We spent only about half an hour here.  Mainly just to buy food, pizza for me and kebab for the friend.  In the kebab shop I was roughly trapped in the toilet for a minute because of a dodgy door lock.  At some point I was contemplating breaking the door down.  The shop didn't accept any kind of credit or debit card, only cash and local bank cards, which is apparently quite common in Europe in small shops.  However I didn't experience this in the restaurants I ate in last year in Europe.

6:30pm  After buying our food, it was a long drive to a hotel in Sottrum.  The route was roughly like this, and was over 200km as well.

View Larger Map

8:30pm  We arrived in Sottrum.  After some looking around the area, we settled for the Röhrs Gasthof hotel, mainly because it had internet access.  There were 2 we visited prior, one had no internet access and it smelled really bad of cigarettes.  The other one which was next door to the hotel we eventually stayed in was nice but did not have internet access.  After checking into the hotel we also had some ice cream at a nearby ice cream place which didn't accept cards, only cash.  Apparently this is quite common in the German villages and small shops.  It was well past 9pm at this point, we crashed at 11pm or so.

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