Day 7…Wednesday 15th June
I can’t for the life of me remember the name of the hotel we stayed in in Malmö but it was really nice. It was sort of central but it did have parking which is the main thing. We set off early Wednesday as we had a lot to fit in before we got to Amsterdam and it was about 500 miles so an 8 hour journey, without any detours. What’s a road trip with no detours?? Not really a road trip in my eyes!The city was so quiet and peaceful this early in the morning. We passed St Peter’s Church which is a beautiful 14th Century gothic church, which is the main church of the city. Then it was on to the bridge.We naughtily pulled over on the hard shoulder to try and snap a few photos of the bridge and where it disappears under the water. You can kind of see where it ends in the above photos but you’d need some sort of aerial drone to capture it properly. Still, we found it quirky.Our next destination? Copenhagen. We had to exit via Denmark anyway so where better than a pit stop to the colourful capital of Denmark. It didn’t take us a huge while to get there but trying to find the two specific places I wanted to see proved a little harder.We passed churches and the Statens Museum for Kunst (National Gallery of Denmark), before finally reaching the bronze, iconic statue of The Little Mermaid. Situated by the waterside at the Langelinie promenade, this 1913 statue was built with the inspiration of Han Christian Anderson tale in mind of the mermaid who gives up everything for falling in love with a prince on the mainland. Rumour has it that morning and evening, every day, she swims up from the depths of the ocean to sit on her rock hoping that she will see her prince. How sweet!!Nyhavn used to be a busy port, nowadays it is full of beautiful coloured houses, restaurants and music. The famous writer, Hans Christian Andersen lived here in houses 20, 67 and 18, and some of his great work was written right here. It was a beautiful part of the city.Despite a grey, cloudy, drizzly day, the houses injected some vibrant colour against the grey backdrop. They were so quirky and cute. Each one was different and unique. There is so much more to see in the places we have visited but we just hand picked a few things we really wanted to see this time. Sweden and Denmark weren’t on our original itinerary (what did I tell you about me and itinerary’s? We never stick to them!) so they were an added bonus. Our next diversion-not-on-our-itinerary destination was Hamburg, where we would stop for lunch.We found somewhere to park and headed for a stroll through the city. We came across the towering structure of St Michael’s Church first. It was so tall, I epically failed at getting it all in one photo! It has encountered its fair share of troubles over the years with lightning strikes, fires and damage during the war. Standing 132 metres high, it also, as well as being listed as one of Germany’s most beautiful churches, is Germany’s highest bell tower and you can see it from miles away!We found the coolest, cutest place for lunch, an italian called ‘Luigi’s.’ It had flags from different countries as bunting outside and theatre faces painted all over the bright red walls. To top it off, the service, the food and the wine was exquisite. We just sat here for a while soaking in the atmosphere, people watching.I finally managed to get a photo of he whole bell tower of St Michael’s Church woo!! It had beautiful gardens in front of it with a fountain. We ambled back through the gardens to the car where we could continue our journey to our final destination of the day, Amsterdam. Just as it started pouring with rain again.OK i seriously can’t get over how young we look and it was only just over two years ago! Admittedly Nathan’s eyes should probably have been on the road and not at my selfie-taking camera. Still, no one was hurt in the making of this photo…
The rain did not let up at all. We stopped at the hotel first (again can’t recall the name of it but it was on a main road with parking underneath), paid the €50 deposit for parking, dumped our stuff in the room and headed into the city. Thankfully it had stopped raining but it was still in the air. Neither of us had any data left on our phones so we were able to get completely lost and engrossed in this wonderful city. The main place I had wanted to see was Anne Frank’s house. Located on the Prinsengrach, Anne Frank lived in the house and is the place where the secret annex is located in which she hid and documented her life during WWII. Two years and a month they remained hidden for until they were betrayed to the Nazi’s and taken to concentration camps. Only her father, Otto Frank, survived the camps. He was given Anne’s diaries upon his return to Amsterdam and subsequently got them published. A few years after, people were being shown around the house and it officially became a museum in 1960 and is now the third most visited museum in the Netherlands.There was a huge queue to get into the museum so we were stood in the rain for a while before we were able to go in and purchase our tickets. There are no photos allowed to be taken in the exhibition. The house was set up in a one way formation and there was total silence as people walked through the exhibition. It was astonishing how well preserved everything was. Some things have been restored, but not a lot, most things are behind glass in order to preserve the authenticity of the place. She put photos on her bedroom wall to make it look more homely. The bookcase concealing the secret annexe was also in its original state. After meandering our way around this hauntingly beautiful memorial/museum, we stopped in the gift shop and I bought her diary. I have read it before but I wanted to contribute to the upkeep of the museum.We stopped at a gift shop aand bought a pen and a sticker and then went to get some cash out but my debit card was nowhere to be seen. Panicking and retracing our steps back to Anne Franks’s hse, just s we got there, two German ladies were picking it up off the floor. Thank god for that. We were just aimlessly wandering around, crossing bridges over the river, admiring the cute bikes that everyone uses as the mode of transport, riding with their backs upright without a care in the world. We stumbled across Dam Square. Full of life, restaurants, shops and cafes, this bustling square hosts the magnificent Royal Palace. Despite no longer being the home of the Dutch Royal Family, this beautiful 17th century palace is still used for official functions. Also in Dam Square is the 22m high national monument, which is considered the most important memorial to WWII in the Netherlands.
Amsterdam is also renowned for its marijuana cafes and red light district. As we walked along the river we did stumble across red lights illuminating the night sky, controversially at one point we were staring at one naked women in a window, turned round and found a beautiful church. It was a spectacle. The delicious smell of marijuana filled the air as we worked our way through the bustling city. I had fallen in love, and yes I am aware I have said this about most places we had been lucky enough to visit so far!Phones had died on our way round the city, but it was nice to actually take in the sights, just the two of us with no technology in front of our faces obstructing our views. The downside is that we had no way of finding our way back to the hotel. That made it all the more fun. I lost count of the amount of times we just did a circle ending up back where we started. There were so many bridges crossing the river that in the end they all looked the same and we had no idea where we were going. Still, after about an hour and a half to two hours of roaming this beautiful city, we did find our way back to the hotel. Aching feet and stupid hayfever meant I fell straight into the land of nod.
Until next time..