Date: Sabbath, July 12, 2014 (for Friday, July 11, 2014)
Time: 8:10 pm local time (2:10 pm EST)
Place: Leiden, the Netherlands
We took the train into Amsterdam yesterday, which is about a 20 minute ride. It’s a very nice city, but it’s a little big for my tastes. The very first thing we did after we got off the train was to get on a tour bus to ferry us around while we learned a little bit about the city. Unfortunately I was at the state of being awake or asleep where sleep happened a little bit too easily. So I nodded in and out. It was a lot of fun, to ride the boat, though.
By this time it was lunch time, so Dr. Wohlers released us for an extra-long lunch break. Both Laughlins, Kathy, and I decided to go try the pancakes (which are famous—they are the quintessential Dutch food). They all ordered savory pancakes (with tomatoes, mushrooms, and cheese), but I couldn’t imagine that that would be good, so I ordered mine with ice cream, chocolate syrup, and whipped cream. It came, and it was easily as big as a large pizza from Papa Johns. But I managed to eat it, and boy was it good!
On the way back from eating we stopped at a souvenir shop, then we headed over to the Rijksmuseum, the national art museum, where they had a free app for iPhone, so I was able to take the highlights tour. It took me all around the museum, showing me a self-portrait by van Gogh, the Milkmaid by Vermeer, Rembrandt’s Night Watch, a doll house, tons of model boats, and a folding harpsichord. Not to mention a whole lot else. I got a lot of post cards which I’ll show you when I get home. And the library. Four stories, full! It was great! I would love to have a library that size, but it is probably never to be.
By this time it was time to eat (again—we eat more in this group than we do when all the Raneys are together). After going to Subway, we went to the Anne Frank house, which is extremely well put together. The annex itself is quite small, and, at the request of Otto Frank, Anne’s father, is unfurnished, but it is very well done. Videos add depth and more history to the tour, and Anne’s own words line the walls.
I hadn’t realized that she had dreamed of being a journalist, and maybe even a famous author. She never knew that hers is one of the most read books, and that she is one of the most translated authors in all of history.
I had never actually read her diary, though at one point we had an abridged cassette tape of it. I bought a copy of it at the museum shop. I wish I had more to say about the museum, but there’s not a whole lot that I can say. It is something that has to be experienced. But Otto Frank said something that seems to be the whole idea behind the German philosophy of teaching about the Holocaust. In 1967 he said “To build a future, you have to know the past.” That is what they are doing, both for themselves and for us.
After Anne Frank’s house we came back to the hotel. I stayed up for a while writing and posting blogs. Then I went to bed, and was so very happy to do so!
Love to all!
I'm a Classical musician, a growing Christian, and a world traveler. I'm learning, exploring, and trying to understand this wonderful world I live in.