Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Amsterdam 2014 Part 6

The last three days of my trip were supposed to be more relaxing. I kept my butt in the city centre and just wandered until I saw something interesting.

On the 15th, I visited the Van Gogh musuem. I tried to find this museum some days before and ended up eating in the Stedelijk Museum's restaurant. There was a line but it was an hour wait at most, which seemed longer because I stood behind two women with tourist books who spoke like the girls in Clueless. OMG. The museum was crowded. The artwork was nice.

I also took the Canal Cruise, after some encouragement from Kedar. This one wasn't a meal cruise, which I was grateful for. I had chocolate in my bag from the Zaanse Schans and granola and juice from Albert Hein (got 3 Disney Kinder Surprises!) so I was set. The cruise I took was fairly short with commentary in dutch, english, french and (I think) german. To everyone's amusement, some dude kept setting his camera's timer and running to pose for pictures.

All of my photos from the cruise have my lens' reflection in them so I won't post them. I also don't remember the name of any of the buildings or if I got a card with the route to help anyway.

The next day brought more aimless walking. I saw the Begjinhof, Amsterdam Museum and Kalverstraat. Begjinhof was a B├ęguinage and now has a small community of women.

After I turned a couple corners, I came across the entrance to the Amsterdam Museum. Upon entering there was this HUGE rug that was made by this lady with small picture squares representing nationalities of Amsterdam and the textiles of their countries of origin. Trinidad was in it! It was shown with an abstract looking steel pan. I don't remember what material was used.

The museum has a DNA tour which takes about 45 minutes and summarises the history of the city and the work in the museum through peeks at artwork, sound bites, videos and other interactive features (This boot was found in the city foundations. Jump on the bike and ride through the streets! Listen to a few excerpts from Anne's Frank's Diary. Smell the different products sold in the city!) I finally found out about Willem of Orange. I heard the name in Alkmaar and again in the heritage museum in the Zaanse Schans. You can access the data by placing the code on the booklet bought with the ticket over the sensors, pick up the speaker (where possible) and listen to the information in your language. Each booklet has a code with the language embedded. It's great for people who are only in the city for a short stay.

This bridge pretty much represents what all the bridges have. Bikes and views over the canal. Still pretty every time I saw it.

I went window shopping in Kalverstraat. The Lutopia Orchestra performed in front of a bookshop. They were really good.

I went in a novelty store and asked the cute guy working in there for Game of Thrones merchandise. They didn't have any, but he's a huge GoT fan and we talked about the show and other stuff for the better part of half an hour before he gave me directions to the Waterlooplein flea market.

There was some cool stuff there, but not what I was looking for.

The following day was my flight back to London. I stayed close by, only visiting the Houseboat museum. The boat I saw was the Hendrika Maria, which was operational from 1914 - 2014.

There is a Connexxion shuttle service that the Weichmann is part of that transports guests between the airport and the hotel. My car came really early and I ended up travelling with an old english couple. The lady and I were talking in the hotel's lobby before the car came so we were chatting up a storm on the way.

My hotel room at Gatwick airport was HUGE! I had a room on the 9th floor. The flight home was pretty good - I watched all the episodes of season 3 Sherlock. =)

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