22 Aug

   Craig and I went to the Van Gogh museum yesterday. It was really impressive. In the basement were painting that were done by more recent artists that were inspired by him. Each of them looked at some aspect of Van Gogh's work, such as colour or gesture. One picture was of some older naked guy with others pointing at there 'goods' (gesture), another was called ObGlob and is hard to explain but the best way is lots of tubes of paint squeezed at the same time but not mixed, several blobs of colour (colour).

Craig's super secret photo of ObGlob
   We skipped the canal cruise but did stuff like send a package to NZ and ate chips with mayonnaise. We just wandered around the canals and filled a day. We caught the night train to Prague along with Anand, Nate and Dave (the Jersey boys) who we met at the Flying Pig. This train was pretty horrible as it included being woken about every 20 - 30 minutes between 3am to 5.30am for tickets and passports when our tickets had already been checked. I heard a story about an Australian getting chucked off the train because he didn't have a visa (Australians and Canadians need Visas apparently no one else does). The fellows waking us up were not the kind and friendly type of customs officer but the yelling in three languages at once kind. Oh well off to explore Prague.
Looking east from Birling Gap
A colourful Dutch bike

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Wish you were here?     (2 replies so far)

  21 Aug

   It took us 4 different trains and 11 hours to get to Amsterdam, one change only gave us 4 minutes to swap platforms and board before the train left the station and it was at that stop that we lost sight of Ben, our travelling friend since Copenhagen, we'll never know if he made it.

   Stacey and Brie were waiting at the station, and had kindly booked us beds at the Anna youth hostel. It was a cool place, with every wall a different colour and hanging semi-transparent sheets all over the place giving it an indian market feel. After walking the town for a bit we settled on a sports pub for dinner. Their speciality was pancakes (which the Dutch invented by the way). Under our instructions, and to their surprise Stacey tried bacon and banana, Brie had chicken and mandarin. Both went down pretty well, possibly to be added to the 'recommended' list.

   Early this morning Stacey and Craig got to the door of The Flying Pig and started the queue. Two hours later the four of us had checked in, paid our fees and were getting back to the Anna hostel to collect our things. We headed to the Anne Frank house, an experience not to be missed. The museum was next to and around the very house in which the Franks and another family lived for those two years. Most rooms had a video clip playing from a survivor and quotes from her diary on the wall. It was really moving, and I don't like to dwell on it because as one quote at the end said (and I don't have the exact wording here), if we were able to comprend the scale of this, the number of people that went through this it would be too much to bear.

   Bron and I found a secondhand book store, so I was able to find something to read for the long journeys. Though I had been avoiding it for a while I found the last few trips much quicker when I was reading some John Grisham books Bron has brought along the way. The four of us had a big dinner, prepared by us in the basement of the hostel, I doubt I'll need to eat anything for while (but I did find room for an ice cream at the end of the night). Then we set out for the infamous Red Light district. It was a strange experience. Little windows custom made for the women standing there under a red light. Some were busy talking on their cellphones, perhaps catching up with friends, perhaps doing their taxes. Apparently they rent the window space for around 150 Euros and can make 6 times that each night. The landlords number is usually fairly obvious so anyone else can have a go if they want.

   Tomorrow Stacey and Brie are off to Brussels, I won't see them again until I stop by the States on the way home. Bronwyn and I are planning a canal cruise, a walk in the park, the Van Gogh museum and to replace her breaking back-pack. The the night train to Prague.

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   Craig & Bronwyn
Wish you were here?     (3 replies so far)

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