Saturday, February 20, 2016

Holiday Photo Diary: Amsterdam

By the time I got to Amsterdam I was pretty exhausted and the weather seemed determined to make my sightseeing as complicated as possible. Grey skies, persistent rain and wind so rough that umbrellas were impossible. But I persevered and saw as much of the sweet gingerbread city as I could before I had to just give up and retire to a coffee shop for a few hours to dry off.

I went to the Rembrandt Museum, which is basically his house refitted as it was when he lived there. Your entry includes an audio tour and you can get some insight into the artist and the man. They were able to furnish his house partially by looking at the paintings which used his house as a setting, but also from when he lost his money and they repossessed all of his things. Which is such a depressing idea, but hey, at least we get a glimpse into how his kitchen, drawing room and student studios were set out! They also have demonstrations of the etching process he used for his prints. I didn't make it to any of the other museums because the rain brought the crowds in droves, but I did take a walk down to the museum district to take a look from afar.

The next day was my last day in Europe and I started it with a walking tour around the area. I walked through the red light district (I actually walked through it the night before, but was so focused on getting out of the rain I didn't even notice!), past oude kirk, the Dutch East India Company Headquarters, Neuw-markt square, Nieuwe kirk, the Beginhof (a convent) and even got a cheese tasting. The tour ended at Anne Frank's House, which again I didn't end up going into because of the massive, massive crowds. Note to future travelers, everyone in Amsterdam loves museums so plan ahead! I went over to the Film Eye after my tour ended. It's across the river from central Amsterdam, but there's a free ferry that runs between the two sides. You've got to love the ease and availability of  European public transport. Film Eye is a phenomenal modern building which regularly screen films (sadly I couldn't get into one that day) but it also has exhibits on film directors, films, genres and general film content. An excellent way to spend a cold and wet day in Amsterdam. Second only to shoving stroopwafels in my mouth until I make myself sick.

Stairs in Rembrandt's home

Student studio at Rembrandt's home


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