Amsterdam's Treasures

At breakfast this morning, we heard that it would be a warm and clear day. With our guidebook (kindle app) in hand, we took a 15 minute Sprinter train to Amsterdam through the low lying flat countryside with cows grazing lazily and tiny canals flush with the landscape.

Once in Amsterdam we hopped on the sleek tram to our destination: The Rijksmuseum. We have visited the museum twice before, but I actually think it would take a lifetime of visits to see all of it and still you would never grow tired of seeing the masterpieces. Rick Steves often calls the audio guides in different places "excellent and essential." He does not say that about this museum because he has written his own outstanding highlights tour, but in my opinion, once you have experienced the multimedia aspects of the Rijksmuseum's video tours, I would say these are truly excellent and essential.  With your iPod like device, you can choose from over 8 tours ranging from 45 minutes to 90 minutes. Each piece of art is thoughtfully described and there's even an opportunity to hear an artist's perspective too.  After visiting Vermeer's "Young Woman With a Water Jug" and Rembrandt's "The Night Watch" where a guard stood on either side, we went on the 19th century tour where we saw Van Gogh's self portrait. We also went on a building tour to see how the concept of the museum has changed over time.  

We ate lunch in a cafe outside the museum. While writing in my journal, something was waving in my range of vision. Glancing up I noticed it was a selfie stick and the two young men laughed heartily when they saw we were watching them take selfies. We see them everywhere. Sometime I wonder if people spend more time taking selfies than actually seeing what they came to see.

From our table, everywhere we looked was a classic summer holiday scene. Kids played on wooden play structures and adults playfully posed on the enormous I Amsterdam letters in front of the museum. Some got inside the letters while others clambered up on top. One young woman stood on one leg while holding her other foot high over her head.

In front of large porcelain statues of the Dutch created children's rabbit character Miffy, people cooled their feet in an enormous rectangular pool. It was probably 1.5 feet deep, but people got right into it. We noticed a man walking through the pool eating a bag of crisps, children swimming, and a dog jumping in to retrieve a ball.  It was peaceful and relaxing.  In the garden of the museum was a fountain that would rise about 15 feet high and then disappear in the ground.  Children in bathing suits screamed with delight running through it while their watchful parents enjoyed refreshments.

Dinner tonight was at Ristorante Pizzeria Venezia which has been in business for over 25 years. A delicious mushroom pizza and farm fresh salad plus two glasses of vino verde cost under $18.  Right now we're people watching back at the hotel.  It's a great way to spend a summer evening.


CoachSparky said…
It looks so pretty in Amsterdam with gorgeous weather! The guided tours sound amazing.

I agree with you about the selfies. Selfie sticks are banned at Disney World. I'm curious if you notice them being banned anywhere during your travels.

Popular Posts