So a couple Sundays ago (meaning two) we had the day off work in Amsterdam. By then it was becoming clear that the project was going to be much shorter than expected. I decided to dedicate the day to visiting Amsterdam's two most famous museums: The Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh museum.
Walking to the Rijks I ran into an old friend of a friend.
Oh good, I'll save myself that bothersome trip to Russia.
The thing is everyone in this country speaks English so they should know what's wrong here.
How do you get to famous places in Amsterdam? You just follow the signs. The signs told me to walk along canals.
Some of the canals were kept from freezing by the boats that were always cruising down them but for no reason do I want you to think that Sunday was not a totally freezing cold day like every other day I was in Amsterdam.
In the distance, my destination.
Some original Takashi Murakami figurines. These probably fetch a pretty penny.
Aaand the museum. I made good time getting to it. I decided not to go in right away.
I was more interested, at that moment, in learning about these impressive canal mansions.
Here's what I was able to learn about the mansions: Nothing. Except that they are impressive and some of them have offices in them now.
Went to the famous park Amsterdam is famous for. No, I did not ask these women to pose for me. But they did anyway.
The park is called Vondel Park.
It is probably a more wondrous place to visit in the spring.
Except this sign seems to indicate that drum circles are permitted there? So maybe I wouldn't want to spring-visit.
Left the park, headed for my museums, that's part of the Van Gogh on the right and a concert hall place in the distance.
These goofs were doing like a line dance kind of thing but the finished before I could get close enough to photograph.
Okay. There's the Rijksmuseum again. Let's go there now.
Wait, sorry. Distracted by the ice rink. They don't make you get off when the Zamboni comes out. That's a good idea, Europe.
Distracted by the big sign.
Distracted by delicacies from my homeland.
Distracted by people stealing from old ladies.
OKay. Now let's go to the Rijksmuseum. Turns out the big, pretty building part of it is closed for renovations. But they've put all their best stuff in a smaller annex building. That I like. All museums should put their best stuff in one place, it makes it so much easier for me.
The museum was mostly full of the sorts of things I cruise right by when I'm at other museums: plates, vases, tiny paintings. But it was expensive! So I read every single bit of text in there. I wanted my money's worth! And my Sunday's worth!
I could never tell if photography was permitted or not so I was very selective in the pictures I took. Too selective, really.
A thing I don't know about some famous paintings is how gigantic they are. (Or how tiny, Woman with a Jug)
There was a good little section about an Arctic expedition gone terribly wrong.
Back outside after two and a half hours, admiring the neighborhood.
I like how the tall houses have hoists sticking out of them. That must be how they get their pianos to the top floor.
Shops and restaurants with cats inside everywhere I look.
That concert place I saw earlier from the distance.
Kids sledding on the roof of a grocery store. See that guy catching air?
And then I went to the Van Gogh museum. Where are my Van Gogh pictures? Wasn't allowed to take any! My impression: Not a very big museum. Smaller than the Norton Simon. In fact, Rijksmuseum annex was probably smaller than the Norton Simon. But I read every bit of text at the Van Gogh because it also was expensive. My controversial conclusion: Was Vincent really even that good of an artist? Influential, sure. Make some nice paintings, yes. But a master to be revered for all of time? Don't know.