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A Day in the Jordaan

September 19, 2015

Finally, on Friday a sunny day! With our newfound confidence in navigating the tram, we set off for Dam Square, the so-called Times Square of Amsterdam…and it is. Not quite as crowded as the New York landmark, but busy nonetheless, with countless souvenir shops and fast food outlets. Behind the Royal Palace and the elaborate Magna Plaza shopping center (below), we ducked down a short side street.

Magna Plaza

We followed narrow streets to the Westerkerk, with its dramatic and colorful spire, the gateway  to Jordaan, the upscale heart of the city.

Westerkerk

Boutiques and cafés abound in this quiet quarter. Bridges festooned with flowers arch gracefully over the canals, and boats of all sorts rock in the gentle wake created by the occasional tour boat.

Bridge with Flowers

Jordaan Canal Boats

Old Rowboats

Joanna spotted an antique shop with a fascinating display of canes…

Canes       Cane Detail

The canal houses in this district are lovely, and in front of nearly every one are huge pots of flowers and plants.  I have to say, I’m pretty good with languages, but Dutch is Greek to me…

Jordaan Street Sign

Jordaan Canal House              Jordaan Doorstep

After lunch we found the Anne Frank House, a must-see for anyone visiting the city. Jo and I are both reading (or rereading) her diary, which made the tour that much more meaningful. (No photos allowed.)

Anne Frank StatueThe self-guided tour is really well organized, as it leads you into the rooms — complete with blackout curtains — where Anne, her family, and four others hid from the Nazis for two years. We climbed the leg-breaking staircases leading to the top rooms and watched short videos of her father, Otto, the only survivor, and Miep, one of the workers at the factory who helped them during their hideout.

After walking over 17,000 steps this day (7 ½ miles, oh my!), we had dinner in a cute Italian place just around the corner from our apartment, then collapsed at home.

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