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Day 17 - 20 Eurotrip 2015 | Amsterdam - Part Two

Day 17 - Madurodam in Den Haag

Today's an exciting day for me as I planned to visit Madurodam in Den Haag. As I missed the chance to visit the BMW factory and science museum in Munich, the child in me was really looking forward to experiencing the interactive miniature park.

I took the morning train to Den Haag train station and then changed over to the local bus to get to Madurodam. The miniature park, certainly didn't disappoint as it contained many detailed and interesting miniature models of landmarks in Holland, some of which I had already seen in real life. Some of the miniature models such as trains and boats even moved bringing the model towns to life. Of course there were also video stations spread throughout the park to allow you to learn about the history of the key landmarks of Holland which made the experience both educational and fun at the same time.

Check out my video and photos below to see just how amazing this place is (especially if you have children with you).



Madurodam

Madurodam

Madurodam

Madurodam

Madurodam

Madurodam

Madurodam

Madurodam

Madurodam

Madurodam

Madurodam

Madurodam

Madurodam


Madurodam also allows you to go into a 3D scanner, so that you can buy a 3D printed miniature model of yourself (costing about $30 USD). How often do you get to buy such a unique souvenir (though I didn't end up buying one)?

Madurodam

Having spent the last 3 weeks visiting mostly landmarks and museums, I decided it was time for a change and in the afternoon visited Den Haag's seaside resort in Scheveningen by taking the local tram. Though it was refreshing to walk around the seaside, in my opinion it didn't provide a charm or wow factor  and felt like a ghost town on my visit. Perhaps my time in the afternoon could have been better spent visiting some of the other landmarks in Den Haag.

Scheveningen


Scheveningen

Scheveningen

Day 18 - Museums

After spending the past few days in Amsterdam taking day trips to neighboring towns, I decided to stay in Amsterdam central and visit a few museums.

My first stop in the morning is to visit the free EYE Museum which is a free ferry ride away from the central train station and is a great place to visit if you are interested in movies. For me the most interesting aspect of this museum is the unique structure of the building which makes it look like a space ship when viewed from the outside. Upon entering the museum, you can enjoy some snacks from the cafe, visit the free panorama exhibit and even pamper yourselves with some of the other paid exhibits and movies.

Eye Museum

Inside the Panorama exhibit, among the highlights is a green screen where you can act inside your own film scene and sit inside one of the personal movie pods where you can watch one of the EYE museum's film collection and test yourself with some film quizzes. 

Eye Museum

After the EYE museum, I walked to the Amsterdam's Central Library which is one of the top places to see in TripAdvisor. This library is certainly one of the largest and most beautiful libraries I've ever seen (not that I've seen a lot of them). Interestingly, the library also has a very nice cafe (La Place Cafe) at the top of the building where you can have delicious and reasonably priced food for lunch with great views of Amsterdam if you choose to sit at the balcony. 

Amsterdam Central Library


Amsterdam Central Library 
Amsterdam Central Library

Amsterdam Central Library

In the afternoon, I visited the dutch resistance museum to learn more about how the dutch resisted the Nazi occupiers. This museum was certainly very insightful and interesting and well worth a visit if you are in Amsterdam. It combines video, reading materials and artifacts from the days of the resistance and takes you through a journey to help you understand what the dutch went through during the days of resistance and how the intensity and methods of resistance grew as time passed.

Dutch Resistance Museum
An example of a DIY radio people used to listen to radio when radios were banned and confiscated by the Nazi occupiers

After spending the past 4 days living in Amsterdam, I decided it was time for a change and checked out of my Clink Noord hostel and made my way via train to the smaller and more peaceful city of Haarlem (about 30 minutes train ride from Amsterdam) which is my base for the remaining three days.

After getting off the train at the Haarlem train station, I made my way towards my hostel "Hello I'm Local Botique" and checked in with the very friendly host.

Day 19 - Walking Tour

Today's a relaxing day for me and only had the Amsterdam free walking tour on my agenda. I joined the walking tour at 10 am at the National Monument.

Our guide for this tour was very knowledgeable and made the 3 hour walk around Amsterdam interesting and insightful. The walking tour went through well known areas such as the Red Light District and Anne Frank House and is definitely recommended for those new to Amsterdam as it helps you get an introduction into Amsterdam as well as get oriented as to where things are.

Amsterdam

Day 20 - Anne Frank Museum

For my last full day in Holland, I decided to hire out a bike from my hostel and explore my way around Haarlem for the first half of the day. 

After lunch I made my way to Anne Frank Museum in Amsterdam, for my pre-booked time slot at 2pm. It is highly recommended that you book your entrance to the Anne Frank Museum as this is probably one of the most busiest museum in Amsterdam with very long lines for those who did not pre-book for their entrance ticket. 

The Anne Frank Museum was certainly a very humbling experience and having previously seen the story about how the dutch resisted the Nazi occupation, this provided me with the opportunity to hear and learn about the story of the Jews who had to go into hiding during the occupation. In this museum you get to see how Anne Frank and her family lived during the years when they were in hiding. Hearing Anne Frank's story really makes me appreciate how lucky I am, and how much suffering people went through during the Nazi Occupation. As an aside, though photographs inside the house and museum were not permitted it was saddening to see the lack of respect and sensitivity shown by some of the visitors.

Back at the hostel, as I sit back and reflect on the last 3 weeks, I can honestly say that going on this trip was one of the best things I've done. From experiencing exhilarating views, to getting exposed to different cultures, and learning about historical events, this trip has certainly been everything I thought it would be.

Check out the rest of my Eurotrip 2015 trip journals below:

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