Thursday, May 14, 2015

Last day

Our last day in Amsterdam was a holiday. They celebrate Ascension here. I remember that from when we lived in Germany back in the seventies, and the month of May had a holiday almost every week. I discovered that the stores were closed when I went for some extra breakfast supplies. But there was nothing we really needed. It just meant that there were lots of people out having fun on this beautiful, sunny day. 

Our main goal was to visit the Van Gogh Museum. After consulting Trip Advisor instead of joining the long line at the museum,  we stood in line at the small museum shop between the Van Gogh and the Rijksmuseum.  Instead of the long line we only waited about 20 minutes and then walked right into the museum. Here too we were not allowed to photograph except in a few spots. 

The museum was pedagogic, and we both learned a great deal about Van Gogh, his life, his influences and his methods of working. It was particularly interesting to see his works beside those of Millet, Monet, Pisarro and Seurat.  We took a break in the middle to have quiche and split a beer in the cafe. That was a wise move and gave us the energy to complete the museum itinerary.

We had thought we might take a canal ride, but by the time we had finished he museum there was not enough time before our dinner date with Robert and Alex. We walked to the canal where the boats depart and watched large groups of tourists fill the low boats. We decided that when we come again we would find a small boat to take us out, and allow plenty of time. 

We walked through the Rijksmuseum archways and returned to the park with the fountain that Peter played in yesterday. Today we sat and watched as other people entered and left the center of he fountain as the water bars rose and fell. 

The tree we sat beneath was called a wingnut tree and was planted when the Rijksmuseum building was originally built in 1907. It is considered an historic landmark 

We watched families playing in the park as we walked to the restaurant Robert had chosen. I ordered white asparagus with smoked salmon and hollandaise sauce, which seemed appropriate for Amsterdam.

We said goodbye early so they could get home and we could pack. The suitcases are almost ready. Tomorrow morning we fly home.

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