A Day in the Dam

It’s been a week since I’ve last blogged and I’ve actually been quite ill. I was bed-bound and didn’t eat anything for almost five days. Thankfully, I am surrounded by wonderful people who made sure that I didn’t want for anything. A little TLC really does go a long way! When I started feeling better on Saturday, I mustered up the energy I could to spend the day in Amsterdam. I had visited the city earlier in the week, but the excursion ended rather abruptly when I fainted in the middle of the street… I sure know how to inject excitement into a regular afternoon in the Dam!!

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This trip on Saturday was a lot more exciting for me! I finally got to visit the Anne Frank House on the Prinsengracht. This has been a childhood dream of mine ever since I first read her diary as a little girl. I had heard the horror stories about waiting for hours in the queue outside but we were lucky and were in the museum within 30 minutes. It really was the most surreal experience going behind that bookshelf and bending down to get into the ‘Secret Annex’ which is tiny for 8 people. There is no furniture at all in the hiding place as Otto Frank refused for it to be refurnished after the war. All that is left are markings and posters on the walls that are preserved by glass casing. The growth chart on the wall of one of the bedrooms really hit home as Anne grew over 13 centimetres while in hiding. It was wonderful to finally experience but harrowing to think about the day they were all discovered.

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After that, we spent our day just wandering around and taking pictures of the various sights of Amsterdam. Buildings are my thing. I really should have been an architect or some sort of historian!! They just make me so happy and the ones in Amsterdam are just so interesting.

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I insisted on seeing the Red Light District even though my friends had already been there a few times. I can confirm that there’s nothing much going on but lots of sex shops, condom museums and prostitutes posing in their red-lit windows, but at least now I can say I have been there.

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For the festive period, a Winter market pops up on Damrak and Beursplein. So many pretty stalls with yummy food and random bits and bobs. So many lights. So Christmassy! We walked up and down here a few times. There’s also a Snowman in a giant snow globe that you can get your picture taken with. I know I’m not 10 anymore, but I am totally doing it before I leave!

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Christmas trees are going up left, right and centre in the Netherlands now that Sinterklaas has come and gone. The Christmas tree on Dam Square was being put up on Saturday. There was a huge crowd around it so I thought there was going to be an official turning on of the lights, but then I realised the crowd was for a street performer who I think was Irish, and wasn’t even that good… sorry!!!

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To end the day we retired to an Irish pub (of course!) for a few beers. The barmen were arrogant English guys. I ordered a round and was asked ‘do you want another bitch beer?’ referring to my half-pint. I like a bit of pub banter, but he was just rude! Anyway, the pub had karaoke at 10pm, so of course, a sick Char was dragged up on stage with the boys to sing, but not before a sneaky shot of Tequila! Our rendition of Like A Virgin went down a treat. We even had groupies singing and dancing in front of us. Coz we’re that good at karaoke!

11 Days left in the Netherlands 😦

Tot ziens,

Charlene

xoxo

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