“Kapitein” Rob, the person who manages and owns a couple of the houseboats, was very kind and helped us with whatever we needed. The first night we stayed on a more modern houseboat on the Amstel River. There is way more room inside these houseboats than you think.
Anne Frank, Otto Frank, Margot Frank, Edith Frank, Peter Van Pels, Auguste Van Pels, Hermann Van Pels, and Fritz Pfeffer all went into hiding in the Secret Annex in 1943. Their hiding place was discovered only a couple of months before The Netherlands was liberated. Sadly, only Otto, her father, survived. Anne and Margot would have survived, but they caught typhus shortly before Bergen-Belsen’s liberation. Anne’s Mom died in Auschwitz in 1945.
Also, the captain of our boat let me steer it for a while.
Did you know that the buildings in Amsterdam lean forward and have hooks on top so that you can lift furniture up one or two levels because the stairs are too narrow?
During the canal trip, we passed the most beautiful church in Amsterdam. It has a crown on top which was given by the German Republic because Amsterdam was such a good trading city.
That night we went with Alizée and Max to a wonderful restaurant!
That night, we stayed in a different, more traditional houseboat. It was pretty cool. There’s a place on top where you can sit and wave at the boat tours coming by.
We said goodbye to Ali and Max on Tuesday, and went off to the famous Rijks Museum, which is ranked among the top museums in Europe.
We saw lots of academic paintings. My favorite was the “Threatened Swan,” which was painted by the Dutch painter Jan Asselijn. It looks pretty accurate to me!
We also saw some paintings of one of Amsterdam’s most famous artists, Rembrandt. This painting is The Night Watch.
In Rembrandt Square there is a huge statue of him surrounded by all the things he painted.
The next day we went to the flower market where we saw every kind of tulip that you can imagine.
There were even black tulips!
We were all excited to go to the Van Gogh Museum, where all of his most famous works our housed. We saw his self portraits, one of his sunflower paintings, the potato eaters, and many, many more.
My favorite was the Almond Blossom painting. Japanese printmaking was one of Vincent’s main sources of inspiration and he became an enthusiastic collector, and the almond blossom painting is an example of the Japanese style that he used.
Our last night in Amsterdam was spent in a “gypsy wagon,” on a a farm in the countryside only 20 minutes from Amsterdam. In good weather, we could have ridden bicycles to the ferry into the city, but it was cold and rainy.
It was really fun because there were farm animals!
My favorite were the donkeys which were right outside our windows.
In the morning we collected eggs for breakfast from the chicken coop, and made a really wonderful, farm fresh breakfast.
Then we packed our bags and headed off to the train station because we are heading to Berlin!
Keep calm and Travel on!
Your Junior World Trek Reporter