I didn't get a chance to blog last night because I got back to the hotel quite late after going out to watch the Packer game. So let me catch you up on the last two days.
Sunday was my "day off" so to speak so I slept in until about 9:30. My plan was to go to three different museums, and the first one didn't open until noon. On the way there, I wanted to stop at a place called Happy Tosti, which I had passed by several times but was never able to stop in. Tostis are grilled sandwiches. The store was really cute, with some of the seats being swings. I got a ham and cheese Tosti, which was very good.
I then made my way over to The Hague HIstory museum. It was very interesting and I learned a lot about the city. My next museum was a prison museum, but I didn't need to be there until 2:15 for the English tour. So I decided to check out the Royal Palace. It isn't really that impressive as far as palaces go.
Nearby is an Irish Pub called O'Caseys that I thought might be a place to watch the Packer game at night. I stopped in to ask and they told me that they don't always get all the games but at a minimum they would have the NFL Red Zone channel. I figured that was better than nothing and made plans to return at night.
I then went to do the prison tour. This was great, if macabre because they talked quite a bit about torture. But the guide was excellent and it was a worthwhile visit. It is something my students would enjoy I think. They also have a legal walking tour for groups that you can organize, so I will have to look more into that. I think this would be a good thing to take the place of the parliament tour I had originally thought I would do.
My third museum was going to be an art museum, but I wasn't feeling too hot so I thought I would just go back to the hotel and get everything packed to go to Amsterdam the next day. That way I wouldn't have to do it really late after the Packer game or really early in the morning.
The Packer game was at 7pm local time, so I made sure to give myself some time to walk around and look at Christmas lights. You can see some of them below, as well as a picture of O'Caseys. They were able to find the game for me, so I didn't have to rely on the Red Zone channel.
This morning I got up and checked out of the hotel. I left my bags at the hotel and took the bus to the International Criminal Court. I was really hoping to spend a couple of hours watching hearings. It turns out I got to see all of about five minutes. There are two trials going on, and both were in closed session almost in their entirety. For one, you could still watch when they were in closed session but they have the mics off so you coudn't hear anything. I watched for a little while and then went back to the hotel to pick up my bags.
The trial I was able to see a tiny bit of was a trial of a man from Congo who had engaged in a lot of terrible acts: murder, rape, forcing children into being part of the military, etc. He is just a few months younger than I am. Sitting in the courtroom in his suit and tie, he looked like a normal business man. It is hard to comprehend all he had done. I am glad I went, but I just wish I could have observed more.
I then took the train to Amsterdam. I have a really nice apartment a little bit out of the center. I dropped off my bags and took the train into the center.
I walked down a street until I came to Dam Square, I hadn't eaten all day, and it was about 2pm so I stopped at a hot dog cart.
I then made my way to the Anne Frank house. Along the way I crossed the canals that are in every picture of Amsterdam you see. They are really cool. I also came across a rubber ducky store. I bought a judge rubber ducky.
I got to the Anne Frank house and there was a long line. It only ended up taking about 4o minutes to get in, which wasn't terrible. The house is interesting to see. The secret annex where they hid was bigger than I thought it would be. But still, thinking about the number of people hiding there, for more than two years without being able to go outside, and having to sit still most of the time, it certainly would not have been comfortable. The place is packed with visitors and you move very slowly through the rooms in big groups, so I wouldn't recommend anyone with any claustrophobia to go through it. I am not claustrophobic and I was uncomfortable. It was neat to see her actual diary (which is actually a few notebooks and many loose pages).
I then made my way back to the train station. Along the way I stopped to get a waffle that was covered with a pistachio coating. Chocolate is better, but this was good too. You could get a lot of different flavors here.
I also was able to see all the Christmas lights when I went back through Dam Square.
I took the train back to my apartment,, stopped to get some soda and food for breakfast tomorrow, and ate dinner in the attached restaurant. I realized when I started looking for it that I left my plug adapter in the outlet in my room in The Hague. Fortunately, they have some at the front desk here (probably also forgotten by past guests) so I am still able to charge up all my devices.
Tomorrow is my last full day here, then home on Wednesday.