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Friday, April 13, 2007

Springtime in Amsterdam

Our family visited Amsterdam in early April, 2005. It was a dream of mine to see the city and visit the Anne Frank Huis. I never dreamed I would one day share that experience with my own daughter. Although she had only been with us for a few short months, she was intrigued, interested and remembers it all clearly. Although Daniel and Bill were moved by this place, for girls, for women, it just always seemed so easy to put ourselves in Anne's place. It was so for me. I read and re-read the diary so many times throughout my youth and still, even now, re-read it once every year.
West Kerk Church
The Oude Kerk ("Old Church") is Amsterdam’s oldest parish church, consecrated in 1306. Rembrandt was a frequent visitor to the church and his children were all christened here.
I just love the juxtaposition of the old and new in this like Amsterdam itself.
The city seems to thrive on its mix of old and new and, despite hordes of tourists, still manages to feel quintessentially Dutch. The old crooked houses, the cobbled streets, the tree-lined canals and the generous parks all contribute to the atmosphere. Bicycles still seem to be the most popular mode of travel. The people are friendly, open and almost everyone we met spoke tremendous English.
One of the best reasons to visit Amsterdam is for the gezelligheid, a term variously translated as friendliness, or informality.
The Rijksmuseum.... Amsterdam's answer to the Louvre! The Rijksmuseum offers a stunning feast for art lovers, with 17th-century masterpieces, silverware, Delft pottery and icons of Dutch history.
Van Gogh Museum Art lovers will be amazed to see the vast number of treasures the Van Gogh Museum, which holds many of the artist's most famous works, holds. Five hundred drawings, 200 paintings and over 700 letters make up the collection. Any visit to this museum brings the genius and vision of this tortured artist to life. From the dour lumpen-life of The Potato Eaters to the bright, childlike colors of The Yellow House in Arles and the sombre beauty of Starry Night, the Van Gogh museum has curated the strongest ever showing of the artist's works.
Anne Frank Huis More than 80,000 people a year cram into Amsterdam's most famous canal house.
Anne Frank Huis and Museum. That is West Kerk Church near by....the bells were chiming as we entered the house. The bells Anne heard daily...
Anne Frank received a diary for her 13th birthday, three weeks before she went into hiding, and the attic in which she wrote that diary is the focus of this moving, often upsetting place. By July 1942 the Germans were tightening the noose around the neck of Amsterdam's Jewish population and Anne (13) and her sister Margot (16), along with their parents, went into hiding in the family's business premises. They survived there, hidden in the attic, until betrayed to the Germans in August 1944. No one knows positively who betrayed them. The Franks were among the last Jews to be deported. Anne died in the Bergen concentration camp a few weeks before liberation. Otto, Anne's father, was the only surviving family member.
The bookcase which hid the steep staircase up to the living quarters.
Thank you for sharing a little trip memory with me today....
Have a sweet weekend dear friends! I can not tell you what
your kindnesses have meant to me!
Susie Q


TK Angels said...

Wow- I love the pics. Love that Gracie still remembers- something she will never forget.

Take care,

Sheila said...

Amsterdam looks beautiful and I enjoyed your photos so much. I can only imagine the emotion you felt when visiting the Frank Huis. I have a Dutch friend and we talked about this one day, she is in her 70's and her father owned a bakery in Holland at that time. Her brother was hidden under the counter in the shop during ther war. It moves me to think of how many people were forced to live like this at that time.
The Van Gogh museum and Rembrandt..WOW to see their work so closely, wonderful.
Thank you for sharing your vacation..

The Decorated House said...

What a wonderful tour through your pictures. Thanks!

LisaOceandreamer said...

What fabulous photos. I would one day love to visit Amsterdam. Especially the Anne Frank Huis - I've read her story many times - saw the movies made as well as documentaries. It never ceases to move me beyond words - it is something that should never be forgotten.
I cannot even imagine seeing all that Van Gogh up close too...amazing.
Thank you for sharing this trip and the way you write about it is better than any tour book.
Love and light,

Nonie Mae said...

Beautiful! great pictures

PAT said...

Beautiful photos, Sue. I've read The Diary of Anne Frank several times. It moves me each time.

Back Porch Musings

Sheila said...

Beautiful photos! Looks like a great place. You're so lucky to have visited there!

"Early Bird" said...

I always love it when you post the cities you've gotten to visit...
those maniquins though...far out...made me thunk I'm tellin ya!
Love you too Susie Q!!!

RoseMary said...

So beautiful. What a dream trip! Thanks so much for sharing it.

Southern Heart said...

Those are amazing pictures, and I loved hearing about your trip! I'm so glad that you share that with us.

Thank you, also, for my kind birthday wishes---you helped to make it one of my best!

Dawn Bibbs said...

Beautiful...simply beautiful. The maniquin ladies are a little creepy...but the OTHER pix are beautiful..LOL.

jafabrit said...

the pics are fab and remind me of when I stayed in Holland for a month when I was a young girl. I would love to see the museum and visit the ann frank museum. My husband was on a trip there and visited both places and said it was amazing.

Valerie said...

so on my places of places to visit. i just need to win the lotto so i can finally visit all the places i've dreamed about.

Sugar Bear said...

Wonderful photos. Amsterdam looks like a wonderful place to visit. It is on my list. So far I haven't gotten out of the country too much - just the Bahamas and Italy. Both are fabulous!

PEA said...

Your pictures make me want to go visit Amsterdam for myself:-) I would so love to visit the Anne Frank museum and you, I've read her story/diary over and over again and have seen the movie many times. One can't even imagine what they went through!! Loved every picture, thank you so much for sharing:-) xox

gold said...

Love the pictures.You take some great pictures.

Jolene George said... THAT was almost just as good as being there in person. Thanks for taking us along. BEAUTIFUL!

smilnsigh said...

Susie, imagine this. We visited Amsterdam too. But years and years ago. My husband has always loved the works of Rembrandt and wanted to see 'Night Watch' for real. And etc. So we took our first big trip.

We had a lovely time and the Dutch people were soooooooo nice to us. Whenever I see someone on the Net, who lives there, I always make sure to say thank you for the wonderful welcome we had, while in their city.