travel

Do You Need a Break?

Many people come to Spain hoping for a break—from workplace and cubicle monotony, from the demands of a high-powered job, from the stresses of everyday life.

5 Ways to Tell it is Time to Get Away Infographic

But Spain is not the only place to “get away from it all.” Indeed, Mario and I will be heading to Destination #2 (Romantic Getaway) in mid-November. He’s never seen Paris, while I have.

Destination #1 (See the Sights)—London

Kaley London

I totally agree about London being a place to “see the sights.” Sometimes Spain’s monotony of cathedrals and castles gets old, and it’s fun to be in place with a ton to see! I loved the red telephone booths, of course, along with just about everything else!

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Amsterdam, The Venice of the North

“Watch out!” Mario grabbed my arm and pulled me closer to the buildings. Two seconds later, a bicycle loaded up with the week’s shopping whizzed by, its owner happily oblivious to his surroundings.

In Amsterdam, like all tourists, I got used to a few things: the smell of marijuana (it’s no joke!) wafting around the side streets, the rather impertinent cyclists, and—of course—the miles upon miles of breathtaking canals.

There are, after all, over 60 miles of them. They’re all throughout the city, giving Amsterdam its nickname, “The Venice of the North.” Having visited Venice last summer, I can attest to the fact that both cities’ canals are spectacular in their own ways, but Amsterdam’s have an advantage in the orderliness department—it’s much easier to get lost among Venice’s waterways that snake throughout the city, leading you to dead ends and impossible crossings.

Amsterdam Canals (more…)

Visiting the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam

While in Amsterdam, be sure not to miss the Anne Frank House. If you were like me, you read her diary at least once as a child. (Okay, I actually read it three or four times.) Anne Frank was a girl just like me, who had thoughts with which I could wholly identify, with unrequited love, with school troubles … I felt a bond with her, and so I read her story again and again.

Of course, I couldn’t miss a chance to visit The Secret Annexe, or the Achterhuis (Dutch for “back house”) while in Amsterdam. The Secret Annexe was where Anne, her family, and four others hid for a little over two years.

Anne Frank House Amsterdam

Nowadays the house, located on the Prinsengracht canal, is a museum dedicated to Anne and the prevention of persecution and discrimination of all kinds. It opened in 1960.

You’ll see quotes from her diary, photos, interviews with survivors, and some original objects that belonged to Anne, as well as the reconstructed bookcase that covered the entrance to the Secret Annexe. Most of the original objects were taken away by the Nazis: furniture, carpets, etc. Otto Frank, Anne’s father, wanted it to remain empty. In Anne’s room, you can still see the photos of famous people she taped up on the wall—like any normal teenaged girl. The famous original diary is kept on display.

Anne Frank House Door Amsterdam

The original door to the house where the family hid
The Little Details
  • From March 15 to September 14, it’s open from at least 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., and in the summer a bit later.
  • Tickets: You can buy them online (and skip the line!) or when you get there.
  • Price: Adults €9.50, Young People (10-17) €5.00, Children under 10: €0.50
  • Photography is not permitted inside the house.

Have you read The Diary of Anne Frank?