I’m blogging from the Shelter City Hostel, where Kathryn and I are staying in Amsterdam! We arrived here yesterday afternoon and will stay until Thursday, when we move on to Brussels, then Rennes, Paris and London. This is the beginning of our Easter Break Adventures: two weeks of travelling for Kathryn and three for me! I won’t be able to upload pictures while I’m travelling, but I’ll try to update my blog as often as possible so you get a sense of what I’m up to. Then I promise to post an album of pictures once I’m back in Belfast!
Kathryn and I really wanted to come to Amsterdam after both reading John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars recently, in which the main characters take a trip to Amsterdam. You should read The Fault in Our Stars when you get a chance; it’s sad, but funny and poignant as well. John Green is a talented young adult author with an adorable young family, so buy his books and support him! After checking into our hostel and napping, we very fittingly visited Bibliotheek, the Amsterdam Central Library, for our first tourist destination.
Bibliotheek is not just a free public library with seven floors of books, magazines, films, music, computers, etc. It’s also an architectural wonder and a truly delightful place to visit. Every floor has eye-catching and ergonomic work spaces. For example, one of the computer areas has Macs set up in the center of low cushioned beds, an arrangement of which the Agnes Scott McCain Library should probably take note!
We had great fun exploring the library, especially the children’s section on the ground floor. Here, we hugged a gigantic stuffed animal polar bear, took cat naps in brilliant red ergonomic chairs, and took a good look at Mousenhuis. Mousenhuis is an elaborate dollhouse, like Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House for mice. These mice have cosy bedrooms, bookshops, music rooms, an art studio, even an archeological museum with large skulls that perhaps once belonged to cats (though I doubt they were real). It’s a veritable mouse village.
The Bibliotheek was a wonderful mixture of relaxation and charm, perfect for our first outing in Amsterdam!