Saturday, July 23, 2016

Amsterdam Day 5: Van Gough & Canal Cruise

Day 5 was another day to look forward to because it was the second to our last full day, and we wanted to make the best of it. After reflecting over my stay, it has felt like I have been in Amsterdam for over a week. I believe I feel like this because the environment is very laid-back and it feels like the time is a little slower here compared to Paris. One thing that I am happy about is that Amsterdam has a different feel than Paris because it allows me to get a different perception of the environment in each city. These diverse experiences could help expand my outlook of the multiple European nations for this trip. Today, our group planned to visit the Van Gough Museum and to take the river canal cruise.
Our group spent some time touring the Van Gough Museum. On the way, everyone stopped at the “I Amsterdam” sign to get a class picture. It was very cool taking this picture, because I usually only saw this sign on the internet, but now I was seeing it right in front of me. I also noticed that many other people loved this attraction sign because every time I passed this sign people were usually taking pictures with it. From there, we journeyed to Van Gough Museum. This place was very nice, and I was surprised that the museum had so many floors. I went from the top to the bottom, and it allowed visitors to get a perspective of Van Gough’s life on each floor. The floor that caught my attention the most was the bottom floor because it really went into detail about his shortcomings during the latter part of his life. I was interested in this part the most because the question flowed within my mind of why Vincent Van Gough took his own life? It turns out that investigators could not highlight one particular reason, but they came up with multiple hypotheses to explain his illness. I was grateful to just even have the opportunity to explore Vincent Van Gough’s life and witness his wonderful art pieces.
Secondly, the group had some leisure time until the canal cruise. My class decided to stop at the marketplace. The marketplace reminded me of a flea market, but a nice area to check out. There were multiple shops, restaurants, and street performers. One thing of note, was when I stopped at a restaurant that only sold chicken. Everything in this restaurant shop was literally chicken, so I was thinking that their food would taste really good. In addition, the guy who took orders was very loud and personable which actually first caught my attention. I had some chicken wings and chicken meatballs, and the food was very delicious. It was literally my highlight of the day.
Thirdly, the group went to the canal river cruise. The canal boat was pretty nice too. The captain took us throughout Amsterdam and we got the opportunity to learn some historical facts on the tour. One fact that I remember well was when it was mentioned that a maid beheaded six burglars, and I was thinking “how did she do that”. In addition, the scenery was also very attractive, especially in northern Amsterdam. I never realized how beautiful this part was but I am glad that I got to experience it. 
Then, to finish out the day, our group stopped to get something to eat. I decided to get a chocolate fudge sundae and a chocolate cookie. This meal was such a great way to end a wonderful day, and it made me look forward to a task-filled day tomorrow.