Time to leave “home” again. Next up is Amsterdam. Liz was here 2 years ago for her company’s global summit. The tales of conducting business under the influence of Amsterdam’s finest are legendary. I have to say that I wasn’t as excited about this leg of the trip as I was Ireland. And I couldn’t have been more wrong. As somber as Dublin is, Amsterdam is equally ebullient. This city is old, beautiful, sophisticated, egalitarian, well managed, fun and on and on.
The first stop was to check in at the truly magnificent apartment we’d rented for the trip. The place is owned and run by local architect Charles Boonzaayer, and the picture doesn’t do it justice. The highlight, as you can see, is the picture window in the living room that opens onto a lush garden complete with a koi pond. When we were at the apartment, even when were weren’t outside it felt like we were. And the location is pretty amazing as well: 2 blocks from the Museumplein.
Next we hit a cafe for some local goodies, and then to dinner on a canal. The rest of the night is a bit of blur, but we hit a variety of cafes, bars and clubs until well after midnight. And because of the latitude, the sun was still up. I’m not sure if they have hot springs here, but I caught myself humming “Immigrant Song” a few times.
The next day we started early to hit the museums a few blocks from home. The Museumplein is a park/square bounded by the Rijksmuseum, Stedelijk Museum and the Van Gogh Museum. We started up at the first, then after lunch we hit a cafe and prepared for the afternoon to come. Next came the Stedelijk. The architecture was amazing, and while we visited they happened to have an interactive, light-based exhibit. Hmm…it’s like they knew we were coming. When things really started humming we hit the Van Gogh. We could’ve spent a week there, and it was clear the docents had seen this level of fascination before. More than once I was advised that if we spent so much time on this painting, we were going to miss the good stuff. But thanks to them, we didn’t.
I can’t think of a better way to spend a day.