Day 3 was a success!
Started the morning off by having breakfast at the hotel restaurant, as usual. This morning, I had OJ, coffee, and then an egg dish with eggs, spinach, mushrooms and small shrimp. Very tasty. This was served with a few strips of bacon. I also had a chocolate croissant.
After breakfast, I walked to another one of the big art museums here – not my favorite. Lots of modern works, where Marie my sister probably could have done a better job. I’m not sure I’d call putting a dot on a piece of paper art, but I guess someone does. That was a majority of the art inside. There was also one weird movie of a tree being pulled through a house, as the video shoots the damage. It was odd to say the least.
After the art museum, I walked the short few steps to the Van Gogh museum. It was 4 stories of pure Van Gogh, with a documentary on the lower floor. The most interesting thing was the documentary as I had not know much about Van Gogh prior. There was also an interesting exhibit about several paintings he messed up, but ended up turning into famous works as he painted over his mistakes.
After Van Gogh, it was off to the Dutch Resistance Museum — a very LONG walk away from the Van Gogh museum, but VERY VERY interested. Inside, there was an audio tour you took around with you, as the various cases and panels explained the decision the Dutch people had to make during WWII – to join in, or resist. It was a very engaging museum, and I was there for several hours looking at all of the artifacts.
After the Resistance museum, it was off to the Scheepvartmuseum, the maritime museum of the Netherlands. Good museum, but very sparse on exhibits. Another issue they had is that a lot of the explanations were in dutch, and not duplicated in English…but some exhibits were in English, but not a lot of Dutch. Very odd.
After the maritime museum, I took a long walk back to the hotel by way of the train station, an outdoor market, the red light district, and a very big department store probably the size of Harrod’s in London. In the outdoor market, I had a stroopwaffell – basically a pancake with syrup in side (more or less). Very tasty. I walked through the big department store, which was basically a Macy’s on steroids – again, like a Harrod’s – with the price tag too.
After there, I walked back to the hotel to have dinner at the Blue Spoon. Dinner was phenomenal. Excellent wait staff, and a manager that was very engaged in helping me select the right meal. For an appetizer I had a pumpkin soup, for the main course I had a HUGE veal cutlet (larger than my head, I swear), and for dessert a cobbler-like concoction with stroopwaffel ice cream. It was excellent. Retail value was 85 euros… not cheap, but probably worth the price if I was paying out of pocket because it was very good.
Tomorrow’s list — the free concert (I thought it was for Tuesday, but it was really for Wednesday), Oede Kirk (didn’t have enough time today), the Royal Palace, the Amsterdam Museum, and if there is time, the Diamond museum. Packed day, but I have everything scoped out.
I have to say, this hotel is phenomenal. All of the staff know me by name, and they greet me every time I walk in. The one downside they have is the housekeeping staff – they sent some maid up for turndown service at 9pm (a little late, I would think), and then the maid during the day cleaning took all of the toilet paper in the bathroom out (like literally took all of the full rolls out, leaving nothing behind). Not sure why this was done, but I had to call twice for someone to come up to bring new rolls, and it took over an hour and a half. A little weird, since I’m not sure why they took it in the first place. The mini-bar option here is so worthwhile, especially in a European city — all non-alcoholic drinks are FREE, replenished daily. There are 4 bottles of water (2 regular, 2 sparkling), a coke, diet coke, sprite, tonic water and apple juice. Plus free snacks, too. Having to buy drinks like that during the day would cost several out of pocket Euros but the Andaz properties provide these items free of charge. Kimpton has a similar program – you don’t realize how beneficial it is, until you realize what the cost is of having to buy those items in a local store, and the time it saves.
Overall, I’m impressed with Amsterdam. The bikes are a little nuts, and I don’t think there are any traffic rules (I think people go when they feel like it – NYC doesn’t even compare), but it’s a nice city. I’d come back here again for sure, and there’s a ton of museums here, especially if you are into art. I’d say this city is worth about 3 to 4 full days to get most of what you need to out of it.
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