Amsterdam Here We Are!
Saturday, July 2, 2016
Up at dawn to say good bye to Prague and to head to the airport for the one and a half hour flight over to Amsterdam which we think will be about 20 degrees cooler than the very hot weather we have had in the Balkans and Prague.
As we arrived in Amsterdam, the sun parted as the weather warmed a bit. Our hotel was not ready so we jumped a tram and headed toward the train station to do a city tour by boat. As we were recently here we were looking for things we have not done and found that the Rijksmuseum has a special Rembrandt exhibit.
In 1632 Rembrandt painted the standing full body portrait of Marten Soolmans and his wife Oopjen Coppit (the only full bodied portraits he ever painted). These two paintings have never been shown together. The last time they were seen even separately was in 1956. In October the paintings will be removed for restoration.
We stood in line for over an hour winding with a mass crowd to have the opportunity see the two paintings. Marvelous.
The rain came in buckets, the sliding windows of the boat did not work. We kept our tickets and plan to redo without getting wet. Amsterdam continues to be a rowdy busy place full of youth and folly. The bicycle lanes caused us often to jump out of the way, the motorbikes and bicycles have their own lanes and pay no attention to walkers...they just bob around them...
Sunday, July 3, 2016
City Tour by bus with narration in three languages. We enjoyed seeing the countryside, though the guide said we were still in the 'city.' Of course we saw a windmill and heard again how the entire place is reclaimed from the sea.