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Published: August 4th 2019
We got up bright and early to catch our train to Amsterdam. Being the Canadian car travellers we are, our hosts had to convince us to take the train, especially since there was a special rail pass for train, tram and museum entry fee for only €33! They were right. We got to Amsterdam with a transfer in Utrecht in a little over an hour. The tram was right outside the Amstel train station and 10 stops later we were at the museum. Last time we were inside the Rijksmuseum was back in 1988. It has undergone some big renovations since then, I think it may have been closed for some time, but we couldn’t say what it was. The temptation was to rush into the Rembrandt chamber and the Great Hall where the Nightwatch hangs, but we decided to start on the third floor and work our way down.
Now here’s a museum that has art! Dutch and Flemish Masters, as well as works by their teachers and pupils, most of whom have become famous in their own right. For me, if it looks real, it’s art, whether it’s a painting, a statue, or a carving. If it doesn’t
The Nightwatch being scanned
Still the main attraction in spite of the work being done.
look real, the artist wasn’t able to produce at that level, so he/she did something abstract, supposedly to generate discussion and push the borders. Well, that’s what I’m doing with these statements, am I now an artist? I have included some photos of the many I took. I didn’t have to show a piece of “artistic” concrete this time. All of it is supreme! Point in case, the Nightwatch still looks great, even though it is barricaded behind glass and is being scanned with some sort of special X-ray equipment, it still looks good and still is the major attraction here. The scanning will tell art specialists how today’s painting may look different from the original, what painting techniques Rembrandt may have used, what kind of chemicals were in the paint, and what might need to be done to restore it to its original state. One complete scan takes 24 hours and 60 such scans will need to be done.
We spent from 11am until closing at 5pm there. We pretty much covered it I think. But man that’s tiring! We learned that there’s no place to eat your own sandwich there, unless you want to sit in the
Still life with cheese
What’s a post without cheese?
pretty fancy museum restaurant, order only a coffee and secretly eat that sandwich while hiding it from other patrons and servers.
A short walk out the back of the museum got us to where the local action is. Canals, flowers, bikes, restaurants and only a few cars. We had a Heineken at a café Katherine and I were at in 2015, called Hans and Grietje, the main characters in Grimm’s Hansel and Gretchen story. Marion had the burger and I had the bitterballen, the round version of the Dutch delicacy croquettes. We looked around some souvenir shops and by seven or so it was time to get on the tram and head for the train station for our ride back to Eindhoven. We were going to take the bus back to our place from there, but we just missed it, so we walked for about 40 minutes instead, got over our 10,000 steps again today! With a couple of cold ones and some Old Amsterdam cheese, we should be ready for bed soon!
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