Thursday, 22 November 2012
It ended up being rather anticlimactic, for us anyway.
The TGV and the Thalys (a high-speed line that runs through Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, and maybe somewhere in Germany) were shut down and replaced with inter-city trains. We took the inter-city train we had originally planned on and faced no delays at all. Hurray.
Above are the buildings over the Herengracht canal from the apartment where we stayed, which fronted onto a wee canal that runs perpendicular to the Herengracht and the Singel. That row of delightfully cute buildings housed Baton, a fabulous cafe, and 't Arendsnest, a great pub.
This is the Westerkerk, just down the block from the house. Apparently Anne could hear the bells ring in the secret annex and they reminded her of the world going on outside.
After this, we went to the Hermitage Amsterdam, which is a satellite museum of the actual Hermitage Museum in Russia. They had an exhibition on the Impressionists on (I do love my Impressionists), plus a Van Gogh exhibition, as the Van Gogh Museum is also closed at the moment.
And after all the art, we went to the Dutch Resistance Museum, which was absolutely fascinating and covered the myriad and inventive ways that the Dutch resisted Nazi occupation from home-made radios for picking up BBC and Radio Orange (broadcasted from London by the government-in-exile) to falsified identification to printing presses for underground newspapers. It was a proud thing to see Canada's old flag hanging alongside those of the others countries which helped to liberate the Netherlands.
Next, our last stop - Bruges!