We wandered from the hotel towards the heart of the Museum District, because we were going to the Rijksmuseum today. We stopped near to the museums at a cafe and had lunch outside on the patio. We watched the bikes whiz by. There are about 800,000 people in Amsterdam, but we read that there are 1 million bikes here. Sure looks like it. The bike lanes are a terrifying thing to cross because the bikes never yield like the cars do and sometimes don't follow traffic lights either. It is good to always look everywhere and to have a buddy doing the same for those times when you have your mouth hanging open with tourist wonder and you're just not paying attention.
We walked to the Rijksmuseum (photos below after writing) and bypassed all of the lineups and ticket buying areas with our Museumkaart, walking straight in. They just scanned our Museumkaarts directly. The museum, unlike many others was purpose built to be an art gallery, yet it is a bit of a rabbit warren and we kept losing ourselves/minds trying to find various rooms. Eventually though, we worked out the system of stairs that lead only to certain places and we saw pretty much everything in this giant museum. We spent all afternoon there, pausing for tea and sharing a brownie at the cafe on one end of the museum.
April saw this museum when she was 18 and now seeing it again notices and appreciates different things. We both enjoyed the Dutch Masters very much. The lifelike qualities of the paintings of people and animals were incredible, the still lifes were gorgeous, and the humour injected into daily Dutch life were priceless. Jan Steen's picture of children teaching a cat to dance was a highlight. I mean, who hasn't done that (and doesn't still do it sometimes on Instagram, no names named)?
|Jan Steen's "The Dancing Lesson"|
|FYI we didn't finish all of this vast quantity of food, ordering too much just so that we could try more things and the portions were huge.|
We walked home and spent some time writing and then retired to bed exhausted.
|Take that Mona Lisa.|
|A lion and a bull pulling a cart together sounds like a recipe for disaster.|
|An ancient piggy bank. Who knew the idea dated back over a millennium?|
|Why not make canons more interesting? South East Asia certainty did.|
|Hungry hippo canon.|
|Opium in a lovely display case.|
|They covered B.C. all up with writing... although there's a lot of blank space around it.|
|One of Van Gogh's self portrait's lives here.|
|The centre of "Night Watch"|
|The hall of honour in the Rijksmuseum.|
|If April were a goose and had to pose for a portrait, this would be the result.|
|Lots of pictures of merry drinkers in this museum.|
|Jan Steen's picture of a drunken couple watched by a cat who was probably disdainful (I mean why wouldn't he be? He's a cat.)|
|A scarf is always made better by the addition of a hidden cat.|
|An awesome self portrait with cat by this Japanese artist.|
|A cat sleeping while you're reading. Definitely reality.|
|A kimono with a cat on it. Perfection.|
|This guy's hair would make hair metal band members from the 80's weep with jealousy.|
|I want something like this on my ship if I ever get one.|
|The library in the museum is like something out of Game of Thrones.|
|A sweet Delft tile with a kitty.|
|This peacock is thinking "oh shit, all the birds are dead and I'm next."|
|We've all seen a couple of drunks like this at the bar or some party. Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme.|
|And now for something completely different, the small modern art section of the museum had some interesting pieces.|
|A couple of Dutch girls were giggling about this piece when we happened upon it.|
|Pick a key, any key. Why are our keys so boring now?|
|Bill with the exterior of the Rijksmuseum.|