Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Museum Day - June 21

The weather has been fantastic for us during our three weeks in Paris, Brussels, and Amsterdam.  So it really came as no surprise and with no sense of disappointment that it poured rain on our free day in Amsterdam, the last full day on our trip.  We've been spoiled so we couldn't really complain about it. 
We started out the day by going to the Van Gogh Museum, which houses the largest collection of Van Gogh exhibits in the world.  This includes 200 paintings, 400 drawings, and 700 letters.  Not all were on display when we went as the Kurokawa wing was closed.  The museum also houses paintings of Van Gogh’s contemporaries.  I found it interesting that you could take pictures for the majority of art in the building but the famous ones you could not.  That is parallel from when I was in New York City and took a picture near one of his most famous paintings, Starry Night. 
Going through the Van Gogh Museum took us almost two and a half hours and then we went to a nearby café for lunch.  Our day was quickly going by and we knew we had to be at the Amsterdam Dungeon by 5:00 since that was the last time a show started and it was the only request one of my friends had.  Despite our time crunch, we decided to go to the Rijksmuseum after lunch, which is right near the Van Gogh Museum.
Unfortunately our trip didn't serve justice as we only had about an hour in the museum once we waited in line.  However we were able to see the Rembrandt collection, which was very impressive.  After the Rijksmuseum, our day turned from classical art to a fun learning experience when we went to the Amsterdam Dungeon.  This place was not a museum in any way, but rather an informative attraction that details dark times in the city back in the 16th-18th centuries.  The highlight was at the end where there was a roller coaster within the building.  The girls were scared and the guys laughed.
Our Amsterdam experience ended with a great canal ride after dinner.  We were able to look around the city from a different perspective other than walking.  Everyone really enjoyed it and took a lot of pictures.