We packed up this morning and left our packs at the hostel to go pick up later. Then we had coffee and bagels for breaky at Starbucks and returned our rental bikes. It was cool again this morning and it had rained in the night so everything was soaked.
After we returned our bikes we caught a tram to Amsterdam Centraal so we could catch a different train out to Zaanse Schans which is where the old dutch windmills are. There is a little village with about 7 old windmills there. We walked the loop and toured inside the windmill that still makes peanut oil. So much manual labour went into making simple things! Two huge concrete wheels going in a circle crush the peanuts. Eventually a man takes the crushed peanuts and puts them between cheesecloth and then a thick rubber sack over it. Then with a pulley he lifts and drops a thick stone block on the rubber sack and each time it compresses peanut oil out of it into a tray underneath. The peanut oil is ready to go and they remove the compressed peanuts which are in a cake type form by the end of the process and use them for cow feed. They also had a sawmill and a cacao mill that are still in use there. The windmills are green with four big blades covered with brown “sails” that go around. If it gets too windy or starts going too fast the man takes a sail off one of the blades to slow it down.
We took the train back into Amsterdam and picked up our packs and got lunch at a little Italian place. After lunch we went to a cheese museum. There were over 60 kinds of cheese to try and we tried a lot. Goat cheese, cheese aged for 4 years, Italian herb, goat cheese garlic and truffle, and beer cheese were some we tried.
After the cheese museum we walkeyt?d to the Anne Frank Haus which was something super high on my list. We had bought tickets online for 2:45 so we headed in. We each got a deal for the audio tour. It gave us an audio tour through the warehouse and it stops while you go through The Secret Annexe and resumes again when you’re through. It was such an incredible and moving experience. The rooms the Frank and van Daan families had to live in were small. Then the thought of living in them with 8 people for two years without ever leaving was unreal. We saw the actual wallpaper with the postcards and pictures Anne had pasted on the wall when she first arrived at the Annexe. Most of their things were taken by the Nazis when they arrested the people of the Annexe but several things are on display that survived. Annes actual diary is on display there, a grocery list for rations from Mrs. van Daan, and a tin of marbles Anne had given her friend the day they left. It was so sad to think this has all happened in my grandma juls lifetime!ßf Hugo%f
We left the Anne Frank Haus and took the train to Centraal again and after some running around we grabbed some sandwiches and found our greyhound bus on Eurostar that would bring us to Brussels, Belgium. Loaded up there and saw a bit of the city but it was soon dark and we dozed for 3 hours until we arrived and walked 10 minutes to our hotel. Meininger Hotel its called and has a ton of people staying here including some church youth groups it looks like. Super modern rooms with bunks and all floors are concrete with wide halls and computers, pool table, board games, coffee bar, foosball, etc. We overlook a canal and they’re much bigger canals here than in Amsterdam. Morgan and I went and grabbed “hamburgers” which aren’t beef here I’m not really sure what they are except sort of sausagey and pastey. No more of those for me! We’re sharing our room with some kids from Paris. Really great people here and so neat to be able to meet and become friends with such different humans from such different cultures. Also everyone here speaks French which I wasn’t expecting. So au revoir.💃