Saturday, December 28, 2013

Van Gogh and Anne Frank House

We found this you see Mdx?

One of the things that was recommended to us many times, was to visit the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam.  From what I read online, you could get tickets in advance, to avoid a wait-and spend a good hour or two inside.  It was also billed as being (big) kid-friendly, with a few things for kids to do. There is a little park next to the museum, so Marshall took Mav there to play, so Mdx and I could take our time inside....really, 3 year olds don't care that much about art.

We arrived right when they opened, and went straight to customer service, to get our audio tour guides, and Maddox asked the scavenger hunt.  The woman was very friendly, explaining to Maddox what she should look for, and how to fill it out.  She also told her there was a prize at the end, if Maddox returned it completed (jackpot!!).   Most of the questions had clues about paintings to find, and little stories about Van Gogh's life.

The key to getting my talker to STOP TALKING in a museum is an audio guide.  Maddox spent a lot of time listening about this painting, called "The Potato Eaters".  Then she filled out little conversation bubbles in her scavenger hunt, imagining what the people were saying to each other.

One of many self-portraits.

Our plan to avoid crowds is simple: Get there right when they open!

Mdx thought Van Gogh's room was interesting.

Not too crowded, and no rush to keep walking!

Marshall and Maverick discovered this little gem right down the street from the museum- it's Luigi from the Cars movies!  Mav stood and talked to him through the gate.

The morning was spent at the Van Gogh museum, and we had a reserved tour time at the Anne Frank house that was around 2pm (bad timing on our part...that's naptime, but it was all they had).  So we headed to that neighborhood and walked around with Maverick on my back so he could get a little nap.

We ate lunch at this restaurant, famous for their huge pancakes.  It is right down the street from the Anne Frank House.

The kids' pancakes came with a toy!

This is the entrance to the building where Anne and her family hid.

There is an optional 30 minute presentation- it costs extra and is only available a few times a day in English, but for me it was well worth it.  It got our minds focused on the importance of the house, the family, and their story.  

This is the map of the building.  The family hid in the top levels of the building on the right, which wasn't visible from the street.

This is a child with a Nazi Schultüte- a tradition still followed today (and that we have celebrated with Mdx while we've been here).  They are given to children on the first day of school.

This is the ad that Anne's father placed in the paper after the war was over, to try out what happened to his daughters.

Anne covered every surface of the book, and even taped in little pieces of paper to make more space.  Her devotion to her little journal is so admirable.

This is Otto Frank at the Memorial of his daughters, at Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.  They were buried in a mass grave there.

The tour through the house itself was very crowded, dark, and quiet.   People were very patient, and respectful.  I didn't take any pictures (you aren't supposed to)- but I believe that the Anne Frank Museum should be a bucket list item for anyone traveling through Europe.  It is the most meaningful thing I've ever seen as a tourist.

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