Sunday, 29 January 2012

Good times, lazy days

We had unanimously decided to make today a 'me time' day. As a result, it was far lazier than our days so far, yet I still managed to end up doing a lot of walking. I woke up at 8am to Skype my parents (and it was wonderful to speak to them), and I was the only guest up until about 9am when everyone began to surface for the complimentary breakfast. As a result, I had the wi-fi to myself for ages, and managed to upload my Paris pics to Facebook! As I type this, I have nearly uploaded the last of them. I want to have a separate FB album for each city, and even then, there are plenty of photos I will later pinch from Sean, Alfie and Cara.

Once we were all up, we walked quickly to Amsterdam Centraal to enquire about trains to Berlin tomorrow (apparently we just waltz onto the train with our Eurail pass. Cool beans.) and then we went our separate ways. Cara headed off to the Van Gogh museum and the diamond museum, Alfie headed off to look at shops and Sean and I headed back to the boat to do some more photo uploading and Skyping. Then Sean and I went for a walk. In -1 degrees weather. Yay Europe! My face felt brittle, like the skin on top of milk that has been sitting out for too long. Brittle and freezing. But yesterday at the pub with the friendly bartender, he had written down the name of a brewery, complete with directions, that he thought Sean might be interested in. So we headed off to find out and it turned out to be not too far from us. Maybe a 20 minute walk? We got there at 2 and discovered it didn't open til 3. But that was okay. We had tasty sandwiches for lunch at a fancy bistro and stayed warm the whole time. When the brewery opened at 3, we realised the English-language tour wasn't until 4, but I wanted to see the Dutch Resistance Museum which closed at 5, so Sean walked me partway and then he headed back to his tour and I went to the Resistance Museum. It was wonderful. Well worth the 8 euro I paid for it. It's an entire museum dedicated specifically to the efforts of Dutch people who chose to resist the Nazis during the occupation in WW2. Currently, they have an exhibition of photos taken by a gentleman who died in 2008. He had to hide his camera from the Nazis and fake a permit to take photos, but this way there is documented evidence of the persecution of Jews. There were hundreds and hundreds of stories in the museum, about people who smuggled children out of the ghettos and into hiding, people who built and distributed illegal radios, people who hid Jews, people who got friendly with the prison guards, got them drunk and managed to get prisoners out, and one woman who was sent to prison for opposing the Nazis and was assigned the darning of the Nazis socks. She sewed them shut. I didn't have quite enough time to see the whole thing properly, but I saw plenty of interesting stuff and had a beautiful walk home in the winter sunshine. It was also nice to have the afternoon to myself for a bit.

I've been sitting here typing and photo-uploading since then. I used the terrible showers again, and it's nice to feel clean. We will be heading out to get dinner shortly, maybe have a few drinks, but we have to get up and leave for Berlin tomorrow so it won't be too late.

Signing off!

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