The scenery from the train was nice but difficult to enjoy as there was standing room only on the train. Amsterdam was hosting a sailing festival so the harbour area we passed was full of tall ships.
The station was undergoing some refurbishment so walking out to the street was a bit disappointing – all fencing and bustle!
We headed straight down to Dam Square and watched some of the street artists. The Royal Palace was boarded up for renovation also but the square remains a very impressive landmark.
We wandered towards the Anne Frank museum and house, crossing the canals and tree lined streets that make Amsterdam visually special. Molly and Julia were keen to see the Anne Frank museum so they queued up and then went in whilst I wandered around for a few hours. It is not that I don’t respect the story of Anne Frank, it is just that I have been before and queues bore me………
Before Julia and Molly went in they saw another carnival. I think it is the 4th of our trip. This one was quite different, being that the floats in the parade were actually, um…..well, they were floating. Giant clogs, African drummers, Italian sports cars and pirates were all floating past as aprt of the summer celebrations.
Julia and Molly were very impressed with the museum and it has been greatly improved since I was there with Julia 7 years ago. It is amazing how it connects so well in Dutch society, promoting tolerance and understanding.
We headed back to the station late in the afternoon, explaining the “Coffee Shop” lifestyle and how in Amsterdam you can “window shop” for almost anything! Molly loved it and her high expectations of The Netherlands had been realised. She was not a big fan of the tiny staircases in Dutch terrace houses though!
We finished our day with another night in Hilversum and a meal of a Dutch tasting plate and of course fries with mayo!