Even More Amsterdam

Amsterdam is a very different city. It is made up of a ring of canals that break up the city. Most of the city is on stilts. Many things in the city are actually below sea level. The airport is over 2 metres below sea level.

Walking around Amsterdam is an interesting experience. There are lots of people. Every time you want to cross a street you need to watch out for pedestrians, bikes, cars, and trams all of which usually have their own separated section of the road. I’m kind of surprised I haven’t seen anyone get hit by a bike or something yet.

I went to the Anne Frank Museum. It was interesting. I wish I had read the book before but it was still a very interesting experience. Living in a fairly small hidden apartment without going outside for 2 years must have been terrible. It is a very moving museum. Not really a lot to say about it though. They had a temporary exhibit, “Free2Choose”, which was interesting. Basically it posed a bunch of legal questions around freedom that governments and courts have struggled with. Everyone has a button to either agree or disagree with the proposition. Things like whether crosses should be banned from public schools. It does a good job of making people really think about the difficult question of what freedom really entails.

After that I didn’t do too much. I journeyed through the Jordaan neighbourhood. Lots of classical looking Dutch apartments. Most of them have a hook that hangs out over the front which is apparently used to haul furniture up to the top floors because the stairwell inside is really tiny. Some of the buildings are even built leaning outwards to make that easier.

Dutch apartments

Then I had the most delicious apple pie (apple tart). Seriously, it was amazing. Sadly the tea I had with it was pretty bad. If you find yourself in the Netherlands, definitely get some apple tart.


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