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Day Trip to Leiden

Posted on December 2, 2006 by Holly Hayes
On Saturday, we squeezed in a day trip out of Amsterdam to Leiden. We wanted to see another part of the Netherlands than just Amsterdam, and it turned out to be one of the nicest experiences of the trip. Both Haarlem and Leiden make easy day trips and David left it up to me; I chose Leiden because I knew it has a few old churches and some Pilgrim history, but mainly we went to wander around...

Amsterdam 4: Food, Language, Coffeeshops, Transportation, etc.

Posted on November 29, 2006 by Holly Hayes
For the final post on our trip to Amsterdam, here's a random jumble of all the leftovers - food, the coffeeshops, the Red Light District, our flight, Van Gogh, the language, etc. Food in Amsterdam The Netherlands is not generally known for its food, but there are some local specialties. One of these is herring, which we saw no need to try...

Amsterdam 3: Anne Frank and Jewish Amsterdam

Posted on November 29, 2006 by Holly Hayes
Anne Frank House One of the coolest sights in Amsterdam is the Anne Frank House, where the famous young girl lived in hiding and wrote her diary during the Nazi occupation. My guidebook says it's the most popular attraction in the city and I believe it - even in the middle of winter, there was about a 15-minute wait in line. It has been a long time since I've read Anne Frank's Diary, but the museum posted relevant quotes from it in the various rooms, in both Dutch and English...

Amsterdam 2: Churches

Posted on November 28, 2006 by Holly Hayes
Unlike most European cities, Amsterdam does not have a great cathedral or an impressive array of churches. This in part because the city officially adopted Calvinism soon after the Reformation in 1578, and Calvinists are not fans of fancy religious art or architecture. So after the Reformation, Amsterdam's existing churches were stripped down to their bare essentials, and those built later are quite plain and utilitarian...

Amsterdam 1: Canals, architecture, bicycles

Posted on November 26, 2006 by Holly Hayes
We had such fun exploring Amsterdam for David's birthday trip. It is quite a beautiful city, especially with all the canals and the lovely houses that line them. Neither of us realized just how many canals there are - it nearly rivals Venice! The canal houses of Amsterdam are almost universally picturesque - tall and thin and squashed together in a variety of harmonious colors, shapes and sizes...