1. Diary of Anne Frank (The Diary of a Young Girl, the definitive edition) The Anne Frank House (located on the Prinsengracht 276) is one of the most popular museums in Amsterdam with a line for admission as long as a canal. Lewis and Emmy read this amazing book before visiting which was the way to do it!
- the long line at the Anne Frank House
2. Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier This is a short historical fiction story about the 17th century author, Johannes Vermeer through the eyes of the girl with the pearl earring. Vermeer’s most famous painting, Girl with a Pearl Earring hangs in the Mauritshuis Museum in The Hague.
3. The Dutch I Presume? This nonfiction book about the Dutch has lots of great photos and ‘fun to read’ text about the Dutch. Our Seattle friend, Pauline Bach who is 100% Dutch, recommended this fantastic book to us.
4. The Embarrassment of Riches by Simon Schama. Schama tells the history of the Golden Age of Holland through Dutch culture as depicted in painting, emblem books, and descriptions of daily life. We learn that the Dutch saw themselves as the new Israelites who escaped the Hapsburgs (“Egyptians”); parted the waters (not of the Red Sea, but of the North Sea–with dikes); enjoyed domesticity; indulged their children, and felt a teensy bit guilty about wealth and the enjoyment of alcohol and food.
5. The History of the Low Countries by Paul Arblaster. Despite surveying nearly 2000 years, Arblaster does not do “equal coverage”. Despite the admirable brevity, Arblaster focuses on the most critical times, providing a nuanced view of the evolution of the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg from their shared beginnings to becoming very distinct nations.
Emmy’s Packing List for Amsterdam
- I bought my toiletries when I got there
- Working with Celsius instead of Fahrenheit: 30 is hot, 20 is nice, 10 is cold, 0 is ice. To get to F take the C and double it and then add 30… you’re really close…subtract 3 to get more accurate.
- I Used lite nylon packing bags for different clothing categories. For example, all my T-shirts went in one bag. I rolled them instead of folded them. They kept better.
- I xeroxed all my credit and debit cards, front and back along with my drivers license and passport. This turned out to be a Godsend when my wallet was pickpocketed on the tram.
- 4 sweaters
- 4 day shirts
- 4 evening shirts
- 4 athletic/free t-shirts
- 2 running pants
- 2 running bras
- 2 pairs of running socks
- 4 pairs of day pants
- 2 pairs of evening pants
- 1 dress
- One really nice evening outfit
- 1 skirt
- Black boots, brown kicker boots, running sneakers, black flats, black evening heels
- Two Raincoats, one long and one short
- White down jacket
- 10 pairs of underwear
- 2 bras, one dress slip, one skirt slip
- 6 pairs of socks
- 2 pairs of tights, leggings
- PJs… lite night gown, flannel pjs
- Baseball hat, winter hat
- Running/biking gloves
- Travel size toiletries for the first few days
- Contact lens stuff and prescription glasses
- Reading glasses, sunglasses
- Make up
- Scissors, tape
- Electronics and necessary chargers: iPad, camera, iphone, converters, mini ipod for running, earbuds.
- Laptop and charger
- Reading: 1. Paper books 2. Guidebooks and map 3. Download e versions to iPad
- Important Documents. Passport, flight times, wallet with credit cards and cash
- Yellow Backpack.
- Small purse
- Compact-able duffle bag
- Small blanket for meditating
Things to Buy in Amsterdam
- Blow dryer
- Flat iron
- Yoga mat