Horrors upon horrors, I’m typing most of this entry on my iPhone. Turns out keyboard only stays charged if you don’t leave it on for 10 hours afterward.
I will struggle through typing on his tiny phone for you, because I’m on a train for 3 hours and because the guilt of being 3 cities ahead of where my posts say I am is beginning to cause a lot of anxiety.
Amsterdam! It all began with the dam of the Amstel river. From there it was a matter of making money; one of the dutch’s favourite things. Amsterdam became a very successful port by waving taxes for foreign traders and basically welcoming anyone into the city.
I know this because free walking tours by new Europe are my favourite Europe find. Although my Amsterdam guide was a lot more from Alaska than Holland. She was funny and knowledgable enough that I couldn’t resist signing up (and paying) for the coffee shop walk and red light walking tour.
The most precious place and likely what I’ll remember most in Amsterdam has nothing to do with what so many tourists travel there for. for me it was the Anne Frank museum. But, instead of including my longwinded expressions of emotions relating to that experience here I’ll put it in a short post to itself.
After my emotional morning I was glad to be in time for the free walking tour.
The tour went something like this: introduction; joke; history-no taxes, freedom, religious persecution, rich=tolerance; joke. We walked through an old Begijnhof-like a monastery for this obscure branch of Christian nuns-now being used as affordable housing/ retirement community (waiting list of 20 years)
Thats just the front entrance. Inside is just a tiny church and a green square. We walked out past a wall of the history museum that had a few of the old business tiles on it. before Napoleon conquered Holand and brought about street names and made people make up last names for themselves the plaques hung above doors as a way of identification.