Rijksmuseum & Anne Frank Huis

I've planned to go to the secret annex for so long, that I slept with a smile on my face the previous night. Waking up early when it's cold outside was tough, but it was worth it. So my sister, my dad and I braced the coldness of Amsterdam and walked from our hotel to Anne Frank Huis the same way we did the day before. Despite the fact that it was just 10 AM in the morning, the line was already super duper long. Not to mention the fact that, half an hour into our waiting, the wind started going crazy. Seriously crazy, a bunch of leaves and cans were flying everywhere, and I was freezing to death, basically. Not to mention the fact that the three of us wore clothes with thin material, so I felt like dying. 
  After an hour and a half waiting in line, we weren't even halfway through going in the annex. I personally couldn't handle waiting anymore, so we decided to meet up with my mom somewhere near our hotel to have an early lunch. I'm not exaggerating, but the cold was insane! Just thinking about that day sends a shiver down my spine. Not a great experience. After eating soup which I devoured, we planned to go back to the annex later on in the evening.
  While my parents roamed around Dam Square and planned to head back to the hotel afterwards, my sister and I headed out to the Rijksmuseum instead. The taxi ride was slightly awkward in my opinion. I'm the type of person who would rather look out the window than playing on my phone. So while I was looking out the window and my sister was playing on her phone, I just realized the driver passed us by the Red Light District and we hit a traffic right in that area. My sister remained oblivious, and I was just sitting there awkwardly while the taxi driver was on his phone talking in another language. Needless to say, I was relieved when we finally arrived at Rijksmuseum!

Just a warning for you guys; if there isn't a caption beneath an artwork than I probably can't find out the description of it. :( 

They were both engaged/married at a very young age!

Fall of Human, 1592 by Cornelis van Haarlem 
  I'm by no means an expert when it comes to art. I love museums and the content of it, but I'm not someone who would comment on the texture or strokes of a painting. So I took pictures of paintings that appealed to me or made me feel something. The museum was packed, but not as packed as the Louvre. What I loved most about Rijksmuseum was of course the painting by Van Gogh and an entire gallery about Netherlands conquering Indonesia (or Batavia as they called it). Another masterpiece that I got to see was Rembrandt's 'The Night Watch'.

Self Portrait, 1887 by Van Gogh

The Arrest of Diepo Negoro by Lieutenant-General Baron De Kock, c.1830 - c. 1835 by Nicolas Pieneman 

  I was shocked to see that some of Van Gogh's work was at the Rijksmuseum, as the Van Gogh museum was right across from it. But nevertheless, I was happy to see some of his works in real life. Sad that I didn't get to go to the Van Gogh museum, so I'm gonna put that on my go to list the next time I go back to Amsterdam.
  To see the history of the Dutch invading Indonesia was quite spectacular. I mean sure, I've learned about it at school before, but not in detail. Who knew that I would learn about it in Amsterdam? 

That's John the Baptists' head 

The Night Watch, 1642 by Rembrandt Harmenz van Rijn

Portrait of Rembrandt Harmenz van Rijn, 1628 by Jan Lievens 

  The first three paintings are located at the 'The Night Watch' Gallery. So basically, aside from 'The Night Watch', the hall is filled with everything Rembrandt. His paintings. The gallery compared to the one where Van Gogh's painting were located was much more crowded. So it was quite hard to take pictures. People were bumping into me, so I just kept my camera in my bag after taking a picture of 'The Night Watch'. Don't you think Rembrandt looks like Ed Sheeran? I don't know, when I saw the portrait, I saw Ed :P 
 After going through the whole gallery, my sister and I headed to the café right across the museum and chilled for a bit. 

  I changed into my chunky sweater (that I thankfully brought for the trip) and then headed straight to the secret annex with my dad. My sister started having the flu when we were at the Rijksmuseum, so my dad and I lined up for an hour or so and when we were close to the entrance, we called her and made her come over. It was raining, but thankfully the cold wasn't as bad as it was in the morning. The umbrella helped, but because of the wind, sometimes it would fly over and once even got dismantled because of it. 
  I knew that photography wasn't allowed inside the annex, which I was so sad about, but that way I could really delve into Anne's story without clicking on my camera every single second. I could really concentrate on her story and felt what she felt during the war. To see her room and the kitchen, the attic and everything else that she mentioned in her diary teared me up. Especially the part where there's a big picture of Otto (Anne's dad) visiting the annex after the war ended. That really made me cry. Just imagine, he came back to Amsterdam, hoping that his family survived too, but came back with empty hands. That broke my heart, even until now. My visit to Anne Frank's House would be ingrained to my brain for the rest of my life. I highly recommend going to the secret annex at least once in your life, because it's totally worth it. 

Much love, Ashley xxx


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