(I)Amsterdam | Holland part 1

Yesterday I got back from a trip to Holland! I’ll be dividing this post into two: the first on the highlights of my trip and the second on Amsterdam’s vibe and cafe scene.

I spent my first full day museum-hopping – Amsterdam is known as a museum capital – and went to the Rijksmuseum. They had a variety of exhibitions on Dutch art and history from multiple eras. The Asian Pavillion impressed me because the Dutch-Indies relationship reminded me of a part of Australian history where the Dutch discovered the land but did not claim it because they believed it lacked value. (Imagine this blog/myself speaking in Dutch for a second!)

While waiting for my allocated time slot at the Van Gogh museum, I walked around Vondelpark – Amsterdam’s Central Park/Retiro.

I enjoyed the Van Gogh museum, although my favourite painting of his sits in Paris. It displayed his entire life in the form of his artworks and (even for someone like me who was never great at visual arts) I was able to see how his technique changed and improved over time. Interesting fact: there was a brief period where Van Gogh was inspired by Japanese culture.

The next day, my Airbnb hostess recommended the Verzetmuseum (Dutch Resistance Museum) which was about the Dutch Resistance Movement in the 1940s. I thought this museum was underrated – it really challenged some of my perspective on the Second World War. A temporary exhibition on WW2 today with photographs by Roger Cremers was also being displayed at this museum and this was extremely moving – the collection expressed ideas on the Holocaust being viewed as a commodity and nowadays we remember things most have never experienced.

Also checked out the Albert Cyup Market in De Pijp and Bloenmarket (flower market) where there was a nearby cheese museum (hence – museum capital – ). I sampled some very random flavours of cheese – one rum slice and one coconut slice.

For Day 3 I took a trip to Maastricht (a university town about 2-2.5hours out of Amsterdam by train) to see Sonali who I went to school with. She showed me around Maastricht which was a cool place:

For lunch I chose to be adventurous and tried some traditional Dutch croquettes!
The main square/cathedral
A cathedral converted into a very beautiful book/coffee shop
Stroopwaffle-flavoured ice-cream and waffle!

Day 4 was spent in the Keukenhof Gardens for tulip season (from late March to mid-May), which was absolutely beautiful and rich in colour. A few (OK, more than a few) of my favourite photos below:

Flower mosaic! Theme for 2016 is “The Golden Age”


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