Sunday, 23 May 2010

A Day in the Museums

Our second day was really 'museum day'. We started out after a late breakfast to the Rijksmuseum, which has a range of famous Dutch painters, including Rembrandt and one of Nicole’s favourites, Vermeer. We only had to line up for about 20 minutes, through a lovely garden.   We were too late in the year to see the tulips, but there were a few scattered around the gardens, and some lovely iris plants.

A local businessmen had the idea of setting up a coffee van in the garden, and seemed to do a good turn of business. The interior of the van was very 'disco'...

We got into the gallery, which is under refurbishment, and only a small portion of the entire collection is on display. Its most 'famous' piece would be the 'Night Watch' by Rembrandt, 1650 which seemed to be the focus of the collection. It was a lot larger than we expected, and it was great to see it.  Nicole spent quite a long time in the Vermeer section, she loved to see the blues and yellows he used in his paintings.  We worked our way through the gallery, and the boys were very interested to see the different styles, the way the paintings were set out, and the guns and swords!

It was a hot day outside - fantastic weather. We found a lovely cafe in the gardens, and the boys enjoyed some time in the playground (after climbing and falling off the huge letters spelling 'Amsterdam' at the top of the park).

We had a delicious lunch, and then set out for the Van Gogh museum, across the park. The museum was very well set out, and the story of his life emerged through the 200 odd pieces on display. We all enjoyed seeing his work, and we all had different favourites.

It seems that your feet get more tired when you are spending your time shuffling around galleries than actually walking around. After Van Gogh, we headed over to the city park, the Vondelpark, where we thought we could sit on the grass and get to watch the kids dash around for a while. No luck on that score The weather was so nice that the park was packed with people (and dogs). The paths streamed with walkers, cyclists and roller-bladers, and all the grassy areas were covered in people sleeping in the sun, having parties or BBQs, or just chilling out. It was so busy that we decided to keep on going.

I loves this sign below....make as much noise as you like!!
You don't see these signs in Berlin!

We walked around more of Amsterdam, including stopping in a lovely square for a cool drink. We had the 'pleasure' of having lots of people around us smoking very aromatic cigarettes. Not the sort you buy at the local grocer!

Nicole had been told that when we were in Amsterdam we should have an Indonesian dinner, called a "Rice-Plate".  It took us ages to find an Indonesian restaurant. We found one eventually, and although it was delicious, the meal was small and frightfully expensive for the 4 of us!  Alexander ate a whole chilli, and the experience was certainly one he will remember for some time!  After ordering a glass of milk to relieve the burn, he was able to continue his meal. 

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