Amsterdam 18. April 2002
We landed at 04:30 at
Schiphol airport. Luckily this airport has breakfast facilities also
at this hour. There are also facilities for storing your luggage, so
if you have some hours extra you might as well spend them in town.
Amsterdam Central station: Getting from the airport to Amsterdam is easy (15min). But this time I was a bit too tired and still got on the wrong train out of there. I ended up in Hemmerlev, I think the town was called. I got some sleep and a free tour though. You get in on platform 15 or 14 on the North part of the Central station and you can buy a book on Amsterdam or postcards before you enter the town.
Anne Frank: I had read the newest version of Anne Franks book before I got there. It was a short walk and already a long queue at 0900 for the opening. The whole house is very interesting due to that it was hiding Anne Franks' family and friends of them during the Nazi occupation of Holland, but also it asks you to have an opinion on question on today's prejudice and discrimination as well. Nelson Mandela and his inmates on Robben Island read the Anne Frank's book and felt strengthened by it, they also were not able to be free in their own country.
Rembrandt's house: He was a great painter that's for sure! Luckily there was an exhibition there now with paintings from him and his pupils. The house it self is also beautiful, but to me the house is just a very nice frame to his paintings.
Red light district: In the book I bought there was actually no mentioning on this district. But heading a Northern direction from the Rembrandt's house I found it with no problems. When there were groups of men looking at me differently than outside this area (it was 2PM and the window seats were still not taken), I might have looked at them differently as well, thinking if they are clients or professionals, the whole setting changed as I walked through. An English with more hair than brain approached me and I felt a bit threatened, I snapped at him telling him to F. off and gave him the finger. There were couples walking around and the people around seemed normal, but something changed. I found out later that it actually had been the red light district I had walked though, if the setting changes during the day time I am quite sure not to walk around there during the night by my self.
Anne Franks house Shopping mall Tram