A Couple of Days in Amsterdam

This spring and summer in Europe has just flown by.  The last time I looked, it was May.  Now, it’s August.  Wow.  Time really does fly when you’re having fun.  And keeping busy.

Although it’s been super long since my last post, I thought I’d take this little downtime I have to fill you in on what I’ve done in the meantime.  Some of this may seem redundant (especially if you follow me on Instagram), but I thought it’d be nice to stlll put it down in writing (or typing).  So I can remember this blur of a spring/summer.

I last left off in Berlin, Germany.  From there we flew to Amsterdam in the Netherlands.  Amsterdam is an adorably cute city.  Unfortunately, it has a reputation for being party central (think legal recreational marijuana use and prostitution).  Because of this, many tourists come to Amsterdam just to party and sadly, that ruins the ambiance.  But take all of that way, and the museums, the canals, and the friends can still make Amsterdam a charming visit.  Just make sure to stay out of certain areas.

We only had 2.5 days in Amsterdam, so we decided to hit the ground running.  After dropping our luggage off, we headed to the Van Gogh Museum.  Van Gogh is one of my favorite artists, therefore visiting The Van Gogh Museum was an absolute necessity on this trip.  Fortunately, the museum was open on Friday night, having a evening social/technology/art event (think: Thursday night NightLife at the Academy of Sciences in SF).  No photos of the artwork itself (Number 1:  It’s forbidden and Number 2: The beauty of masterpieces can never be expressed in photos), but it’s such an amazing museum, one of my favorites in the world (along with the Musée d’Orsay in Paris and MOMA in NYC).

What else would one serve at the Van Gogh museum but Van Gogh spirits?

What else would one serve at the Van Gogh museum but Van Gogh spirits?

Art meets Technology at the museum atrium: Van Gogh takes a selfie...

Art meets Technology at the museum atrium: Van Gogh takes a selfie…

The next day we headed to the world famous Rijksmuseum to view artwork from further Dutch painters.  What I really appreciated about the museum is that it had a free app on iTunes.  With this app loaded onto my iPhone, I was able to access various audio tours and learn more about some of the great Dutch painters, such as Rembrandt and Vermeer.

The Rijksmuseum at Night with another demonstration of how the Dutch are combining modern ideals with classical artwork

The Rijksmuseum at Night with another demonstration of how the Dutch are combining modern ideals with classical artwork

This Grand Hall was designed to visually focus the visitor towards the museum's most famous piece - Rembrandt's The Night Watch

This Grand Hall was designed to visually focus the visitor towards the museum’s most famous piece – Rembrandt’s The Night Watch

The massive crowd trying to get a peek at The Night Watch. This piece of art is so precious to the museum that there is a slot in the floor under the painting. In times of emergency (such as during WWII), the painting can be lowered through this slot in the floor to be protected below.

The massive crowd trying to get a peek at The Night Watch. This piece of art is so precious to the museum that there is a slot in the floor under the painting. In times of emergency (such as during WWII), the painting can be lowered through this slot in the floor to be protected below.

After being artistically educated, we meandered through Amsterdam…

Just one of Amsterdam's many canals

Just one of Amsterdam’s many canals

 

How many businessmen can fit in one boat?

How many businessmen can fit in one boat?

Meeting up with our friend Wendell and taking a Starbucks selfie...

Meeting up with our friend Wendell and taking a Starbucks selfie…

 

Yes, we did go to Starbucks in Amsterdam.  However, in our defense, the Starbucks in Amsterdam made  one of the most beautiful Starbucks lattes I've ever had...

Yes, we did go to Starbucks in Amsterdam. However, in our defense, the Starbucks in Amsterdam made one of the most beautiful Starbucks lattes I’ve ever had…

I have big feet, but not this big...

I have big feet, but not this big…

Mmmm...Cheese...

Mmmm…Cheese…

We didn’t have too much time to explore the Dutch cuisine, but we did get to have a nice Indonesian/Dutch rijsttafel (which means “rice table”).  The food is Indonesian, but the origin of eating many little side dishes is Dutch.  According to Wikipedia, the Dutch introduced the rice table not only so they could enjoy a wide array of dishes at a single setting but also the impress visitors with the exotic abundance of their colony.  The food was delicious, but very spicy…

Just some of the dishes of the Rijsttafel (Rice Table in English)

Just some of the dishes of the Rijsttafel (Rice Table in English)

After all that spicy food, this was a refreshing dessert

After all that spicy food, this was a refreshing dessert

Our time in Amsterdam was short, but we had to get to Paris to attend the French Open.  That’s coming up next…

2 responses to “A Couple of Days in Amsterdam

  1. Ah, love to read your descriptive and entertaining blogs and see your beautiful photos. You make it possible for me to be an armchair traveler!

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