I wrote a list of things that I definitely wanted to do in Amsterdam. The list was pretty short, and I got a lot of it checked off today! This makes me happy.
I started the day with a cup of coffee before heading out to the Anne Frank house. I was not allowed to take pictures inside, but I got a picture of the outside.
The big building (with the wooden slats in front) was the warehouse her father owned, and the hiding spot was in a little house behind that. It was an incredible experience being in the hiding spot where she lived for years, seeing her diary, and remembering her story. I would definitely recommend a trip to this house if you are in Amsterdam. Plus, it is only 9 euros – a bargain compared to other museums. Next, I headed off toward the Van Gogh museum. I stopped for lunch at Bagels and Beans, which actually does not serve beans, only bagels.
Cinnamon raisin bagel with banana, cinnamon and maple syrup. Yum! I also got a carrot-orange juice.
All filled up, I headed over to the museum, with a quick stop over the ice skating bridge for an epic photo shoot. My host, Jacky, told me about this secret spot for photos and it did not disappoint. What a view!
Someone offered to take a picture with me in it, and this is what they did.
They totally kicked out the iamsterdam sign in favor of this hideous beige sign. Let this be a photography lesson to us all. If someone offers to take a picture for you, make sure you check it before they have a chance to run away. Lesson learned.
Finally, I entered the Van Gogh museum, which also does not allow pictures. I was able to snap a quickie of a print that they put on the wall. The real self portrait (shown in print form below) was at the museum, and looks way better than this picture does.
Which leads me to: how I almost got kicked out of the Van Gogh museum. When I walked in to the museum, I asked the security people if I was allowed to take photos (knowing the answer would be no). Of course they said “No, no, no, absolutely not.” Talk about buzzkill. I take this to mean that you can take photos if you can be sneaky about it.
My tactic was as follows: whip out my iPhone, and start taking notes of my favorite pictures. Keep a close eye on the guards. I noticed the security guards were pretty mobile, walking around a lot. I kept track of them out of the corner of my eye, while “writing notes” on my phone. I decided which painting would be worth risking getting kicked out. I chose the sunflowers, which was also the most heavily guarded, of course. By heavily guarded, I meant that it was in a small room with one guard. There were a ton of people there though, so how could the guards notice if I tweaked my phone ever so slightly and snapped a quick pic? Well, they are trained well. As I went to lift my phone up, thinking the guard was talking to someone, I saw him get up out of his chair and head toward me. I VERY QUICKLY locked my phone and pretended like nothing happened. He stood by me for a second, glaring at me, and then I just slowly made my way out of the room. I then celebrated with a shot of espresso from the restaurant. I didn’t actually get a photo, but I didn’t get kicked out either, so I consider this a draw.
I finished the day with a leisurely stroll home, stopping every so often in the shops to check out the latest fashions. It was another great day in Amsterdam!