Monday, July 4, 2011

Amsterdam-1 Me-0

Well today was quite an adventure. First we went to the library where we have class and it is gorgeous. After class Dr. V had a '"surprise" for us. Now usually when he says this, it's code for an assignment. Today it was actually a good surprise. He took us to the top floor of the library and outside on the balcony so we could really see Amsterdam. It was amazing. Then we were off to take a 3 hour walking tour. Our tour-guide's name was Jo, she is originally from New Zeland. She was really nice and had a nice sense of sarcastic humor. We started the tour at the National Monument. The National Monument was built  in the Dam Square in remeberance of the lives lost in World War 2.
Next we headed toward the Red Light District. The first stop on this portion of the tour was at the Old Church; which is very ironic. The Old Church is 700 years old and 100 years older than the New Church. The Old Church was in the business of saving souls which resulted in it becoming very wealthy. Jo told us that churches often turn into different things such as hostels or clubs even. I thought that was crazy initially but then I figured it was just another culture difference. Nearby to the Old Church we saw Gable Stones. Gable Stones were the old way of finding where someone lived and their last name. The next site that stuck out to me was in the Red Light District. Then we came across what was the Jews Square. A lot of the houses were very cubic. This was architects attempt at bringing the cubic movement to  architecture.
The last thing that made my top five list was the crest of Amsterdam. It symbolizes the three struggles that had to be overcome: Fire, Flood and Disease.
The rest of the tour was very informative and beautiful. The real adventure began after the tour when Jasmine and I were lost for about two hours. To make a long story short, on the quest for food one wrong turn can turn into 30 wrong turns. You should always keep your map on you in case of these kind of emergencies. Overall today was tiring but good at the same time. I am looking forward to the Anne Frank Museum and exploring some more.