I have family in The Hague, the peace capital of the world. It is a mere 45 minutes driving or train to Amsterdam. While I would have loved to go to this city with a friend eat weed brownies and pass out in a hostel however free is free. I can’t let traveling alone hold me back from checking things off of my travel list. I want to take full advantage of being blessed to have family in Europe. It is a luxury that most Americans don’t have.
Anne Frank Museum: moving and beautifully done
Heineken Experience: interactive, fun
Van Gogh Museum: go really early
Sex Museum: good for giggles
Medieval Torture Device Museum: fairly entertaining but not noteworthy
With the family: First things first, The Anne Frank Museum. We got there at opening and the wait was two hours. It was well worth it. The feeling of the house is an intimate walk in to the diary that stole the world’s heart and put a face to the atrocities in the holocaust. While the museum was sad it was interesting and interactive. There are interviews with people in each room and explanations of how each room functioned during that time. I didn’t realize how massive the hiding space was. It was two stories with four bedrooms. It housed eight people. The moving stories of how Otto’s employees gladly risked their lives to hide them two families. In one interviews, she said there was no question in her mind it was the just thing to do. The sad mystery that lingers is who reported the family and why. I did find the museum incredibly interesting and well worth the wait.
Next we walked along the canals eating deep fried food. Then we stopped in the torture museum which did scare my little cousin. It was interesting but I didn’t buy that these artifacts were real. The museum is decorated kind of cheesy which makes it less scary. The wax figures make for a nice eerie touch. It was a small museums and worth a stop if you really love torture devices but if not it is skip-able.
When I was on my own I tried the TripAdvisor walking tour but I got lost and it killed my phone battery. If I were to do it again I would have written down the directions on paper and saved the power. Anyway I went through the red-light district, I was there really early in the day so I most saw the early morning hookers and the nice churches around. Then I ended up at the sex museum which was good for some giggles. It’s really cheap and surprisingly big. I do wish that there was less about Marilyn Monroe. Yes she was really famous but there are other sex symbols like Bridgette Bardot, Bettie Page, and Betty Grable etc…
Next I went decided to take the long walk to the Heineken Experience. It was about twenty minutes from the sex museum and I got a pita from Moaz on the way. Moaz is cheap, yummy and convenient. I saw some nice architecture. Then the Heineken Experience was a cool interactive museum with some history and lots of fun. They have a professional beer taster show you how to taste beer and explain the process of beer making, then an interactive ride to explain the beer making process, an ode to their show horses and finally a room designed like a club where you can enjoy wither one extra cold beer, one beer you pour yourself (you get a certificate), or two regular beers. Doing this part alone was sad but my phone kept me company. The park next to the brewery was a nice place to rest and breathe for a moment before I continued the trek to the Van Gogh Museum.
I had to visit the Van Gogh museum however the place was shoulder to shoulder people, loud and uncomfortable. I should have done it first thing in the morning but I did find it annoying they allow the museum to be that obnoxiously uncomfortable. The audio guide was phenomenal it was worth every penny. You learned a lot about his life, family and why his work is so iconic.
I didn’t eat a weed brownie like I said I would. I decided that it would slow down my whole day of sightseeing and be disrespectful to the family I’m staying with. I wish I could go to Amsterdam with friends but I’m glad I can check it off my list.
Advice for your trip: Bring friends and start early with Anne Frank first, Van Gogh second and finish with the Heineken Experience then maybe wrap up with the Sex Museum.