Saturday, August 08, 2009

Amsterdam 2009: favorite pictures and thoughts

Like every other visitor to the city of Amsterdam, we made a stop at the Anne Frank House. (side note: I recommend that tickets be purchased online and printed before visiting. We went right in, but I believe the line is five or six hours long.) My initial impression of the Anne Frank House is just how innocuous it appears. It is just a quiet rowhouse along the Prisengracht canal. What you do not get from the book is just how small and unassuming the house really is. I cannot imagine the number of people who lived in this house, in fear, for several years.

I was shocked at the number of bicycles in Amsterdam. Which is wonderful, I think we should all cut down on the time that we spend in our cars. However, walking on city streets is dangerous. Traffic flow in Amsterdam seems to be chaotic without rhyme or reason and everyone yields to the bikes. Any given street will have two bike lanes, lanes for cars, then in the middle, a bus/tram lane. Before you cross any street it is necessary to look back and forth about five times, then cross your fingers and pray as you run.

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