I was happy to be able to attend mass on Sunday. I found a Catholic Church in the Begijnhof area where mass was said in French. Considering my only other options were Dutch and Latin... I thought this was the best option for me since I studied a little French in high school and my Mom knew quite a bit as well! I don't know if I would have found out about this place if I had not been looking for a mass to attend, but I am very glad I did. The Begijnhof is a couryard of private residences set apart from the hustle and bustle of the city by gates. It was founded in the late 1300's as a convent at the time and is a wonderful and quiet oasis from the craziness of the city. There is also one of the city's oldest wooden houses dating from the early 1500s here.
On the way to the Anne Frank house, we passed the narrowest house in Amsterdam. You can see it below. It is the red short house and the width is not much more than the width of the door. Apparently, the amount of property you have fronting the canal determines how much you pay in tases so many of the homes have narrow fronts and somehow make up for space in the back.
Here we are standing in line for the Anne Frank House. It wasn't bad... only 20 minutes around 1:00 in the afternoon. I did notice that it stays open till 7:00 at night and there is no line at all in the late afternoon.
Look how clever I was taking a picture of the front window and getting the reflection in the back. :-)
This was the only picture I took once I got inside the Anne Frank House. It is a 3D image on the wall with the Anne Frank house highlighted. I was told not to take any more pictures... but I'm glad I got this one. I read the Diary of a Young Girl in preparation for this trip because I knew I would want to visit this place. I read it in school but was glad to read it again as an adult. The house itself was fairly spacious till you think that 8 people lived there for 2 years and could never leave. The part that struck me the most on the tour was the glimpse into the attic space where you could see the blue sky. In Anne Frank's diary, she longed to be outside and the best she could get was the window that looked to the sky in the attic. I loved that the Hollywood stars were still pinned up in her room just as she had left them. It was very sad... but I'm glad I got to visit it in person and I plan to read her diary again with the knowledge that I have been there.
The New Church... if I remember correctly. There is a blue crown on top. It is very unique and the burial place of Rembrandt.
And another pretty canal... with swans!