Friday, August 31, 2012

Amsterdam, August 31, 2012

The last day of August and the day started out being dull, drizzly and 16 degrees. Yikes.

This morning we were at the Ann Frank House by 10:00am. It opened at 9:30am and we had to wait in line about 10 minutes to get in.

The museum is really well done, clear, concise and really brings the story home. I was glad that I had read the diary before hand. Also, with seeing many other holocaust sites/museums/locations in the past (ie Auschwitz, Berlin memorial, Washington Museum etc), this added another human piece to this very ugly puzzle.

When we left the museum over an hour later, the line was much longer. I am glad I took my friend Sheila’s advice and went early.

Despite my boys protests, we next took a slight detour to the Mephisto shop which (miracle of all miracles), was actually open and I found a choice of two colours in my size. I did show restraint and only bought one pair. I always buy my Mephistos in Europe because they are half the price of what I would end up paying in Ontario.

We next wondered around, in a few different directions (my husband checking the map and changing course a few times) before eventually arriving at the Rijksmuseum. I have learned not to ask directions when my other half is following the map because it makes him think that I do not have faith in his navigational abilities.

The Rijkmuseum is under renovation but they still had a very good tour of their dutch masterpieces. Actually it was fabulous with a large collection
of Rembrandts, but I have to say, my favourites were still the Vermeers. The museum took about an hour and a half to see. When not under renovation, the collection would be bigger.

In an art frame of mind, we moved on to the Van Gough museum. I loved this museum, not only did they have the largest collection of Van Goughs but they also had a paintings by a number of the artists who he was inspired by. (I especially enjoyed the Pissaro pieces).

The museum did a really good job of taking you through his life and art by different periods, and places he lived. It was really beneficial to have gone to some of Van Gough’s different important locations (ie Montmatre in Paris, Arles, St Remy and the hospital he was in in the south of France).

We then just explored the city, especially enjoying the flower market.

I could just sit and watch the bicyclists all day. They come in all ages and sizes. When it rains, many of them hold an umbrella in one hand while steering with the other. Bikes are all over, not only zipping past you on the streets (they have their own lanes), but parked everywhere you look. Cool.

After making a supper at the apartment, my husband and I let the boys stay back while we walked around Amsterdam at night.

I think tomorrow, we might take the big plunge and rent bikes.

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