Mini Break!

June 22-26

For our mini-break I decided on a whim to go to Amsterdam. Because I waited so long to make reservations, I could only get reasonable accommodations for two nights. Oh well, two nights it was!

I took the train there, a nice mixture of the Eurostar and a local line. Pretty cool to tell people I went under the English Channel, no big deal. The weather in Amsterdam was much cooler than London!!! It was a nice torrential downpour with a healthy dose of thunderstorm when I arrived so I ponied up for a taxi to my AirBnB. I wondered the neighborhood for some dinner and then called it an early night.

The next day I ventured out to the Rijks Museum. It was fantastic! It was 4 floors of awesome. The museum was arranged in a very orderly fashion, and flowed in a timeline fashion, so with each floor you were covering a few centuries. There was a sizable gap between 1650-1950, but I guess there wasn’t much in the way of art that the Rijks Museum curators thought was interesting enough. There was a library attached, but it was closed when I tired to go in. I peeked in and it looked vaguely like the round reading room of yore from the British Museum.

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They had a display of an old Monastic style book cabinet which I found very interesting. This one is from a Dutch naval vessel and was used to store atlases and maps.

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Of course I was able to locate the only book on open display in the museum, due to my librarian senses. It’s a genealogical manuscript from the 1590’s.

They also had a small section on the most famous Dutch artist- Van Gogh. They had his famous self portrait on display, and it was literally the only piece I had to stand and wait for people to move to see what it was. Because I got to see the sunflowers in London, and the self portrait at the Rijks and I know Starry Night is in New York, I saved myself the long lines at the Van Gogh museum! Score.

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This is a sculpture of Sleeping Beauty. I don’t remember posing for a sculpture… 🙂

The next day I wandered around some more before I had to leave to catch my ferry. I ended up in Rembrandtplein, and saw this cool statue of Rembrandt. Check out the cute little girl riding on the dog statue!

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Around the corner was the Museum of Bags and Purses, which I couldn’t say no to! It gave an overview of all the types of purses that have been in use since the middle ages, plus they had a beautiful tea room!

Check out this cool crocodile purse! Now that’s using the whole carcass.

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To experience Europe to the full, I decided to take an overnight ferry back to England. This means I got to take a million busses to ports and stations and stand in the rain, but it was still a cool experience. Here is my ferry cabin. The bed was more comfortable than my dorm bed 😦

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On Monday night I decided to take myself on a fun night on the town and went to see Wicked. It was wicked good

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