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Amster Amster Dam Dam Dam

I don’t have all too much to report on Amsterdam, so this will probably be a fairly quick update! We arrived in the evening due to train troubles yet again (we didn’t book them in time and couldn’t get a direct 3-hour train and ended up spending 7 hours getting there instead) and walked around for a little, seeing lots of cafes and “coffee shops”. As everyone surely knows, weed is very much so legal in Amsterdam and it is quite obvious. It’s pretty weird to see people smoking it in public, or walking into a souvenir shop and finding weed chocolate bars and candies as well as endless amounts of lighters and pipes covered in the cannabis leaf. It’s pretty funny.  The next day, we wandered around some more and hit up the Van Gogh museum! That was really cool! Seeing some very famous original pieces of art with my own two eyes is pretty amazing! I’ll admit I mostly only recognized them because of the board game, Masterpiece, which I used to play at my granny and grandpa’s when I was younger. Such a great game. I never imagined all those rounds would come in handy one day, but I’ve gotta be thankful for those game nights that informed me of the most well-known paintings in the world!  We didn’t do much else that day other than walk around and explore some more. It’s a beautiful city that looks just like the pictures, so there were no surprises or disappointments. The weather was really hot while we were there, which we weren’t so happy about since I imagine a rainy Amsterdam would be the best Amsterdam! The heat also made for sweaty sleepless nights in our 20 PERSON hostel dorm room. I almost forgot about that unenjoyable aspect of our Amsterdam stay. There was no AC in the room, go figure, and the window was our only hope for some air flow throughout the hot summer nights, but it also let in the noise coming from the busy street right below us. We just couldn’t win! Needless to say, I didn’t get the most sleep those 2 nights.  The next morning, before heading to the airport to head to Dublin (!!!!!), we woke up bright and early to beat the line at the Anne Frank House. I kid you not, this place has the longest line I have ever seen in my whole life… It has a 3-4 hour wait and snakes around the street for what seems like an eternity. Luckily, we were smart and went an hour and a half before it opened. There was already a short line formed, but nothing even remotely close to the crowd that had appeared by 9 o’clock, the official opening time.  I read The Diary of Anne Frank when I was in grade 6, I want to say, and I never imagined then that I would actually get to pay the historic hiding place a visit! The whole experience was really incredible, and sad and weird, but such a cool thing to see nonetheless. It’s hard to grasp what happened there, especially because we simply cannot understand the struggle of staying in one small space for 2 entire years, never being allowed to make too much noise or move around as you usually would, fearing that your life could be taken in an instant if you make one wrong move. It’s even crazier that this was a reality for so many people other than just Anne Frank and her family during that time. And of course, the ultimate outcome at the concentration camps is a hard one to think about. Nonetheless, it was a good experience to have and a must-see for sure.  Following our walk through the museum, we got some breakfast and then headed to the airport! I guess this post was a bit longer than I expected…oops! Stay tuned for our next and FINAL (what?!) stop of the trip… Tal


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