We arrived in Amsterdam at about 9:30 a.m. local time today, and after 14 hours of travel, we couldn’t have been happier to get to the hotel. Luckily, we got an awesome two-floor loft room at the Hotel Pulitzer which is a hotel made of a collection of ancient row houses. It is so unique and cozy, I love it.
Walking around Amsterdam is a strange feeling. I used to think there was a lot going on in the city streets of New Orleans with the streetcars, actual cars, cabs, pedestrians, and the random biker, but in Amsterdam, there are tons of buses, shuttles, cabs, cars, and thousands upon thousands of different types of bikes. Everyone rides a bike here – and not only do they ride bikes, they ride tiny run-down bikes so they don’t look good enough for people to steal!
Down the street from our hotel is the Anne Frank Huis, where Anne Frank wrote her famous diary while hiding from the Nazi’s who inhabited Holland during World War II. We went through the house today and it was so sad to see the space where Anne’s family lived with four other people (eight people total) for so long. Anne’s father (her only surviving immediate family) helped preserve all the staircases, the bookshelf that hid the entrance to their secret annex, the wallpaper from Anne’s room that still has her magazine clippings glued to it, and even the part of the wall where the family recorded the children’s changing heights during their stay in the annex. One thing I learned was that no one has ever discovered who told the German authorities about the secret annex.
Even with the overcast skies, Amsterdam is a beautiful city and I don’t even know how to take a picture to represent it – it’s literally one row house attached to another, attached to the whole block.
All the streets are little alleyways with these houses lining them, canals running alongside them. It’s almost a mixture of Upper East Side New York Brownstones and Venice. So beautiful. It is truly a unique mix of modern and classic architecture… complete with a few house boats floating along.