Sunday, September 26, 2010


On Saturday, Kyra, Flat Stanley (of course!) and I traveled to Amsterdam.   We left SHAPE at 7am in the morning and arrived downtown shortly after 11am.

Planning out our touring plan was a bit of a challenge.  Museums close at 6pm.   Our tour of the Anne Frank house was scheduled for 3:30 right smack in the middle of the day.  The attractions of the city are spread out so one can't easily get from one place to the next.  I had little interest in visiting the red light district and certainly wasn't going to with a 12 year old.  Kyra wasn't interested in art museums.

Our compromise turned out to be touring the city via canal boat that we could get on and off throughout the day.

The canal boat took us past this windmill.  I took a photo because, well isn't it required to take pictures of windmills when in the Netherlands?

From the canal boat we saw many of the canal houses.  We learned about the hooks at the top of the homes.  When one has narrow staircases, the only way to get furniture in or out is through the windows.  The hook was and is used to hoist large items.  You may or may not be able to tell from the photo that the facades of the homes lean out a bit.  This is intentional.  We also saw homes that obviously leaned sideways, this was not intentional.

As we walked around the city we learned about bikes.  They are everywhere.  They are parked and locked all over and the citizens do ride them everywhere.  The most important thing a tourist can learn is - don't walk in the bike path!  Kyra and I quickly learned to be more cautious when crossing a bike path than when crossing the street.

As you can probably tell from the lighting in the photos, the weather was constantly changing throughout the day.  It was cloudy, rainy, sunny, windy, and hailing at various intervals.  Flat Stanley posed by a canal in the brief amount of sunlight we enjoyed.

You can see the canal, bikes and some houseboats in this photo.  The steeple in the background houses the church bells that Anne Frank could hear in the annex.

Tomorrow I'll share more about Anne Frank's house and our memorable visit there.

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