We worked two very long days on Sunday and Monday getting the fair set up (almost there!), so a day off yesterday was very welcome. Though I was tempted to sleep in, relax, give myself a manicure, and sit at a cafe in Maastricht drinking wine all afternoon, I resisted and woke up early to catch a train up to Amsterdam. When in Rome, right?
Amsterdam is about a 2 1/2 hour train ride directly from Maastricht, making it a very do-able day trip. I visited on my Tuesday day off last year as well, so I knew that it would be worth it. I definitely nodded off a few times on the train, but once I arrived, I was full of energy and ready to explore the city.
Though the trams are extremely easy to navigate, the line for tickets was kind of long, so I decided I did not need to waste fifteen of my precious minutes in Amsterdam in a line, and hit the city on foot. Not exactly the best plan, since the cobblestones can be quite treacherous and it was hovering at about 30 degrees, but I survived. And Amsterdam is one of those cities that is so beautiful to wander through, you'd miss the best parts if you didn't walk. Or at least that's what I told myself.
I began with the Anne Frank House, since I missed it last year due to time constraints. This is definitely a must-see once in your life - I was very moved by the whole experience. Climbing behind the sliding bookcase jolted you right back to when Anne and her family were hiding in the tiny spaces. My favorite was seeing the magazine pictures of movie stars that Anne had cut out and pasted to the walls of her room. It looked practically identical to the way I decorated my room as a teenager, but with a blocked off window and about 1/8 of the wall space.