Sunday, April 27, 2003

Amsterdam Day 2

Since I have decided to visit Tzeo-Inn's town on my last day in the Netherlands, I only have one more day to spend in Amsterdam. To start the day off, I visited the Heinekin Experience - where the Heinekin Brewery used to stand. Although no beer is actually made in the brewery (since it's now a tourist attraction), plenty of beer is served through three 'bars' throughout the tour. There was an opportunity to buy tons of Heinekin merchandise, but I had to resist the temptation to bring home lots of stuff because my backpack is approaching the critical mass of explosion. At the end of the tour we even get a really nice glass.. Definitely worth the price of admission! :)

After getting all tipsy at 10am in the morning, I met up with Tzeo-Inn and visited Anne Frank's House. Even though it was raining, the line-up extended past the front of the building towards the side. It was the original house when Anne Frank and her family hid for two years during the Nazi occupancy of Holland. The bookcase, where the secret entrance was hid behind, was there in plain sight. It felt so chilling to walk through the house, to their living areas, and even the bathroom and the original posters that Anne had put up on the wall herself. By the end of the tour, I was almost crying from listening to the excerpts from the diary and all the videos of people that knew the family. I think it's time I re-read Diaries of Anne Frank...

Right outside of Anne Frank's House is the Homomonument. Literally, it is to remember all those who have been prosecuted and mistreated due to their sexual orientation. It was three triangles, formed in a.. triangle, on the ground.

Despite the rain, Tzeo-Inn and I decided to visit the Museumplein, where the museums are centralized in Amsterdam. Riksmuseum, and the Van Gogh Museum were on the list that I really wanted to visit. The admission fee to Riksmuseum was outrageous, and since the only things I really wanted to see was Nightwatch and The Milk Maid, I passed on the opportunity and visited the Van Gogh Museum instead. Seems like people in the Netherlands don't mind the rain, as we had to wait in the rain for a little over an hour just to get in. Just goes to show that Van Gogh is still regarded as one of the greatest painters. Three floors of paintings, sculptures, and other art forms that Van Gogh attempted throughout his life is displayed here. The famous Sunflower, is one of the more prominent pieces that attracts thousands of visitors every year.

We stopped by the Van Gogh Cafe (no relation to the museum) as we wandering around, and they hung several replicas of Van Gogh's paintings on the wall. Mmm.. it felt like I was a cafe in Paris, sipping my latte and chatting with an old friend. :) We ended up walking around Leidesplein, an area filled with nightlife and dance clubs in Amsterdam. Even at 5pm, the place is already buzzing with people. We stopped at Wagamama (yes, there is one in Amsterdam), had some udon and dumplings, before walking back to the Centraal Station.

Near the Centraal Station there is a Sex Museum - literally. All things about sex is there. From sculptures in ancient times depicting sexual acts, to the modern day pornography, it's all there. They even have a giant penis for tourists to take a picture of (I got Tzeo-Inn to take one with the penis, hehe). It was an interesting experience, as I had NO IDEA that even in ancient Roman times, pornography was already so.. explicit! :)

Tomorrow I will be leaving Amsterdam for Utrecht for a day trip. Should be fun. I can't wait to see windmills!

No comments: