Sunday, September 18, 2011

I AMsterdam

Experiencing Holland is not complete without a visit to Amsterdam, although most Dutch citizens (who don't live in Amsterdam) rarely visit the city. We had a tight time schedule, as we had to stay within the kids' school hours. Amazingly, traffic was light and we were at the Anne Frank house by 9.30am. This was my second visit to the house in the past few months, but it struck me how different things stood out to me this time. Maybe I was distracted by the kids last time or focused on details.
After checking out the Dam and Royal Palace, the next destination was the Van Gogh Museum. Another newbie for me. Although the artwork was amazing (of course) I was very disappointed that all the painting were covered with glass. I can see how just one idiot could ruin a masterpiece if they don't take this precaution, but still: it takes away so much from the beauty. The most interesting part for me was the exhibit about the "behind the scene" of paintings. How paint layers have changed colors, and artists reused canvased so old works appear with infrared light.

After a quick stop at the I AMsterdam sign, we had some tram troubles and didn't make it back in time to pick up the kids for school. Luckily we have some amazing friends who are always willing to help us in need. By the time we got home, I was wasted. A long day in Brussels, combined with a day of sightseeing in Amsterdam was just all my preggo body could handle. So while I took a nap, Joe took everyone else to the Kringloop Centrum. This is pretty much just a secondhand store similar to Goodwill, but the contents are much more interesting. Since Holland is a much older country, items that are considered old junk here, are actually cool antiques. Another Dutch dish of Andijvie Stampot, and a movie finished off another great day with Ruth and Heather.

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