The Art Pilgrimage to the Netherlands

Melissa and I did a great trip visiting most of the museums in Holland.  When she suggested this adventure I was sure it was going to be a great experience with someone who is a docent in de Young.  And sure enough, we visited, Amsterdam, Haarlem and Den Haag and almost all the art museums in those cities and had tons of fun.  Travel with a girlfriend can be so much fun when you are on the same wavelength!

Waiting for our flight in the lounge in SFO


The flat we rented on Amstelveld,  with its ladder they call 'stairs' in the Netherlands.


The surrounding park and the tastefully modern inside.



Our bus station and a neighborly houseboat on Prinsengracht

Our first trip was to the recently renovated Rijksmuseum with its infamous passage that has caused so much controversy  -  and then we spent a second day, later in the week, in this amazing museum  -

Walking to Rijksmuseum via Prinsengracht and Spiegelgracht


Melissa was happy to see many of her favorite masters including Jan Steen

Here are a few samples including the Night Watch and the Jewish Bride



Van Gogh Museum doesn't allow pictures outside of designated areas - so here we are


We took one morning off to rest our feet and  did a Boat Ride - it was a closed boat and some of the pictures are clearly showing the effect.


Amsterdam Centraal  -  The train station and the it amazing bicycle garage

and some of the hundreds of pictures I took on this outing, including a selfie.


You can not go to Amsterdam without visiting the Anne Frank House.  And so we did.  One of the best and worst experiences of my life.  I cried and cried...  We had purchased our tickets in advance and did not have to wait but a lot of people were still in line when we left at around 7:30 p.m.

The nearby Homomonument is another emotionally challenging site.  Thinking of history and what happened during WWII, this was another very touching moment


Dam Square and the Royal Palace


National Monument [below left]  &  the old Central Post Office which is now a mall [Magna Plaza] [below right]


Walking Day around the city was mainly around Jordaan including Prinsengracht, Bloemgracht. Egalantiersgracht

The hoist on each building was something we had to learn about:  As houses are narrow and stairs even narrower furniture has to be hoisted up from the outside and for this reason houses are built slightly leaning out. See the contrast between the black and the white buildings [below right]

Evidence that we are in a Kingdom - anachronism at its best


Magere Brug - Skinny Bridge

Oude Kerk and the Red Light District



Rembrandtplein - and Night Watch in 3-D


And a final random selection of pictures of canals and life in Amsterdam




Den Haag - Mauritshuis

Haarlem -  Frans Hals Museum