Almost Home Again-written early July 20

Just after midnight, July 20, and we are sitting in the airport in Bahrain, awaiting our 2 am flight to Muscat.  Poor David has to go in to work in the morning…. I can sleep, if I’m not too over tired.

We had a very full day Monday…. unfortunately, the weather was dismal.  We got lots of experience in using umbrellas in windy weather.  It was a good day for visiting museums, although no that great for standing in lines.

We started our day at the Anne Frank House.  As it was just around the corner from our hotel, we arrived about 8:45. As it doesn’t open until 9 am, we had only about 15 people ahead of us.  But they arrived in droves behind us, and it went through the whole place shuffling in a crowd.  It would have been nice to be able to see it almost empty…. to get more of the feeling.  It was a long time ago that I read the Diary…. and I think i need to reread it now I’ve seen what a small, cramped space those 8 people lived in for so long.  Photos were not allowed, and in any case would have been really difficult with the crowds…. but I did take this one downstairs.  One thing that I did find quite disconcerting was the area devoted to Anne’s sister, Margot, where people who had known her said that it was too bad that her diary had not been saved instead of Anne’s.  My feeling is that it would have been wonderful if her diary HAD been saved, but aren’t we lucky to have at least one account of what it was like.

There was a stop on the canal nearby for the Hop-on, Hop-off Canal Boat tour, so we bought tickets and “hopped” on. Because of the rain, we couldn’t see as much of the tour along the canals, but we did get from place to place, and got some interesting information on Amsterdam as well.

We wanted to go to the Van Gogh Museum next – but when we finally got there – quite a long walk in the rain- there was a line-up a mile long.  We went across the street instead – to the House of Bols. They have been making liquor in Amsterdam since 1575, and have a very interesting display, both of their history, and also a hands (and noses) experiment of identifying scent.  When we were through, we got to pick a cocktail which they made for us.  We also got to pick two shots of our choice – I picked their amaretto and coffee flavours, and they were really good.

After finding somewhere to get a sandwich (it was only 1:15 pm at the time), we went to the Rembrandt house.  That was really interesting – it was a huge and expensive house for the time, and a lovely place for him to paint, until he lost it and ended up in a tiny apartment across the street from Louis Bols.

Photos and more later –

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