A friend selects tulips to take home
A sea of bikes near Central Station, and lovely wooden shutters on an apartment house
I met several friends for a tour of the Anne Frank Museum today. I toured it when I was here last year, but was happy when they said they wanted to go. Anne Frank's diary had a huge impact on me when I read it as a kid. We were able to view the actual diary as well as a number of her loose pages of writing which were on loan from the War Museum. These were not at the museum last year, so it was wonderful to see them today.
After lunch we wandered over the the flower market, where I bought a number of amaryllis (huge!) and about a dozen calla lilies to ship home. These were quite heavy so we walked back to my hotel and dumped them in my room before moving on.
We walked into a neighborhood on the northwest edge of the city that is located on a small island, and has been residential since the 1600's. It was one of the only places in the city that was strictly residential, with the exception of artist studios or small galleries. It had a very low-key, bohemian vibe, and we really enjoyed wandering around looking at the buildings and the small gardens. We even ventured into a small garden, thinking it might be a community garden, and sat for awhile on a nice bench! No one seemed to mind....
I had an adventure on the tram this afternoon when returning to my hotel: the tram was "redirected" away from my stop and headed far south in the city. At first, I thought perhaps I had boarded the wrong tram (wouldn't be the first time!) but several other passengers jumped up and began questioning the employee about what was happening. When I asked her what to do she began shuffling papers, looking quite bewildered. Finally, a young woman passenger told me, "She doesn't know any routes besides her usual so she isn't able to help. I need to go to the same place you are going so we can go together". We hopped off the tram at the next stop, walked down the street and I bought a Metro ticket and we took the subway back to where we wanted to be. The people of Amsterdam, with few exceptions, are warm, friendly, and gracious to tourists. I love this city!