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