Thursday, September 1, 2011

Amsterdam and Leeuwarden

The past week has been pretty busy.  On Monday we went to Amsterdam.   It was a fun but tiring day, we left the house at 8:15 and didn't get back home until nearly midnight.  I was really excited to see the city.   It was neat just to walk around, everything looked so old and European.  We saw lots of sites too.
First we walked to an old Dutch house that was built in the 1600s.  It was furnished with all of the old styles.  Then we saw the house of Rembrant, a famous dutch painter.  He had lots of great work, sketches, paintings, sculptures...
We barely had time for lunch but ate sandwiches as we were walking from a shop called Julias.  Then we walked over to the palace.  Lots of royal events take place here.  All of the rooms were beautifully decorated and we listened to an audio tour as we walked around.  From the palace we went to the new church which had an exhibit on couture wedding dresses.   After that we had only about an hour until our tour of the Anne Frank house.  We got drinks on the top floor of a shopping building. 
The Anne Frank house was great.  I have always wanted to see it and it lived up to my expectations.  There were quotes from Anne's diary all over the walls.   Videos were playing with people talking about the holocaust and Anne's situation.  It was neat to actually be right where she was hiding. 
After the tour we had dinner and then took a train home.  The next morning we left at 8:30 for Leeuwarden. 
Me and my host sister, Stella, visited her grandmother in the city.  We walked around a lot and I really liked the place.  It was less overwhelming than Amsterdam but still had plenty of shops and cafes/restaurants.  We ate lunch in a quiet part of the city and it was delicious.  Then we walked to a museum that showed all of the animals of Friesland, the province of the Netherlands that I am living in.   After that we went came back and I was exhausted.  The two days of sightseeing tired me out.
Yesterday, Wednesday, I went to meet with the dean of my new school.  We picked out some of the classes I will be taking, German, English, Dutch, Gym, Chemistry, Math, History... and took a tour of the school.  It looks nice and I am excited to start on Monday.  I am also a bit nervous, especially since I still don't understand much dutch, but hopefully everything will go okay. 
The rest of the day was pretty quiet and today has been as well.  This morning we had pastries and since I have been working on my dutch with the two huge binders from AFS.   It is a lot of work but I really want to come home fluent. 

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