Sorry, I’ve been away from here too long.

The cough hit again when I got home, and this time whatever the bug was hit my back too, so there were a few moan and groan days, such as drain one’s energy. These little nasties tend to seek out our most vulnerable parts.

Besides that, I found I can’t do anything with my travel photos until I get the new external drive I’ve ordered. Seems I’ve overwhelmed my little MacBook Air. I want to say I’ll have some photos for my blog after I get the chance to go through them to delete and edit. But I do hesitate, knowing that I never did deliver my Iceland photos as I had promised. (Have you noticed how time goes by faster every year?)

I do want to tell you, though, about our last day in Amsterdam. As I’m remembering the day, one thing that stands out is bicycles. Not only the fact that bicycles are a major mode of transportation, with their own broad lanes, but also that for some reason lots of them end up in the canals. We came by one boat dredging the waters, already loaded with recovered bicycles, and pulling up another whole bunch. I was too slow with the camera to catch them in the grasp of the claws, but I did get a shot of the piles already recovered. How it does inspire the imagination to make up a pretend backstory.

There are times in my travels when I arrive at a place where I’d like to stay a while. That’s how I felt at the Beguinage, a beautiful inner court of town homes rentable only to single women. Founded in the middle ages, it was once home, in the form of single rooms, to women who were one step away from being nuns, but never did take vows and were free to leave to get married. Now, in my daydreams, I could imagine spending the day working – teaching or whatever – and returning at night to the calm and beauty of the area. Maybe a quick pause in the lovely chapel would be in order.

At the other extreme of experience was the visit to the Anne Frank house. Doug – the world’s best personal travel agent – had discovered the option to buy a ticket on line for a half-hour lecture at 6:00 p.m. (as I recall) followed by a tour. Without that, we would have been in a huge line that stretched way around the block.

Anne’s father had certainly done his best to protect his family. For the situation, the structure was relatively roomy, like a small house, really. But imagine living there in silent darkness, with the windows covered. And ultimately being betrayed just a short time before the end of the war.

So here’s my true confession. I never could make myself read Anne’s diary. We assigned it in Developmental Psych classes; friends told me it was inspiring; but I was sure I would think only of the horror that Anne eventually suffered, and the senseless killing of her dreams. Having visited the spot, however, I think, for some reason I can’t really explain, that I can now read the book.

And I am more than happy to have experienced her hiding place. I like knowing that her thoughts and life have not only survived, but influenced people in many different languages and many parts of the world.

That was the end of our trip. The next day we flew from Amsterdam to Minneapolis/St. Paul. The process of making it through security and the subsequent check points was amazingly efficient. And it’s always good to get home.





Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. My goodness, Mona, you certainly don’t have a dull life. Sorry to hear you were not feeling up to par, but glad you’re better now. I’m looking forward to seeing some photos. Are there many that would make great paintings? Probably all of them. I can only think of one reason there were so many bicycles in the canals….. the riders were drunk or stoned. Happy you’re back!

  2. Hi Mona! I’m relieved you are feeling better! And yes, time does fly when you get older at least in my case. You are very fortunate to travel. I have many Dutch branch’s in my family tree and would love to go to Amsterdam someday! I look forward to seeing your photos!

  3. Mona, so glad to read your last post. Also happy to hear you are finally feeling better. Take good care and see you soon. Love, dottie

  4. Always a great pleasure reading about your amazing travelings. Will love to visit the places you’d been to and to visit Anne’s house. I read her diary many years ago when I was at her age! Glad that you are home! Stay well!

  5. Welcome home, Mona! Great report – always filled with the life that you are, and the places you describe get so alive for me. That was touching, about Anne Frank – and that you never read the book, but may now. I think you will be glad you did. And I look forward to the photos! Maybe you could just download Dropbox, and put them all in there?
    I also see that bicycle-photo very clearly, thanks to your description, Mona 🙂

  6. Mona,
    Thank you for such a well written accounting of these parts of your trip! I’m very much enjoying every one.
    Touching piece on Anne Frank’s home.

  7. Thanks, Ellen. Now I’m pulling things together for the next garage sale — maybe.

  8. I’m glad your feeling better. It’s no fun to have a cold any time of the year, but I particularly hate them in the summer. I think that as we have new experiences, different types of books appeal to us.

  9. I am glad to hear you made it safely back!

  10. i love these. Thanks for sharing.

  11. Thanks for loving, and for letting me know .. smiles!

I'd love to hear your reaction, click here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: