Sunday 13th January

Today the group awoke to the chilliest start to a morning that we had experienced on tour yet. Whereas the ground we played on yesterday at Leusden was green, this morning it was sporting a top layer of white with the scoreboard recoding the temperature at -4.
Bleary eyed (as a result of attending the birthday party of one of the Dutch girl's), the group slowly assembled for this morning's expedition into Amsterdam to sample the vibrant culture of this widely known city.

After the obligatory group shot in Dam Square the group headed to the Anne Frank House, where During World War 2 as a Jew Anne, her immediate family and her extended family were forced to hide from the Germans for a number of years until their ultimate betrayal and capture.
From there the group embarked on a brief tour of another one of Amsterdam's most "famous / infamous" areas, the Red Light District which was an eye opener for many.

By the time the group was heading back to the bus, the sun had come out which lifted the temperatures (a little), which in turn meant there was a significant influx of people to the streets where previously they had been relatively deserted. With the people came the shops that then opened and the more observant noticed some quite unique signs in the windows of shops (refer above photos). The keen shoppers within the group noted that in Australia we have "Winter Sales", whereas in keeping with European winters instead the Dutch have "Sub Zero" sales (refer above photos).

The group then headed out to the Arnhem Airbourne Museum that documents the story of the key strategic Operation Market Garden during World War 2 and the significance of this operation.
From there the group visited the nearby Oosterbeck War Cemetery which is the final resting place for many of the Allies that fought to repel the Germans during World War 2. The sheer enormity of the war and the ultimate sacrifice made by many served as a sobering reminder to many within the group as they walked throughout the cemetery.
As we were returning to the bus from the cemetery the temperature plunged even further as small white flecks began falling from the sky and for many in the group they experienced their first experience of snow in a place other than the ski fields.
Th final stop for the day was to walk over the key strategic bridge in Arnhem that was one of the focuses of Operation Market Garden and has since been the centre piece of films such as "A Bridge To Far".

As the temperatures fall the further we get into Europe we have been advised that due to expected extreme night time temperatures of -7 to -8 and safety concerns ( ie the pitches freezing / icing over) that tomorrow night's game will be cancelled.