Amsterdam & Haarlem

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Our second trip in a couple of years, Tony and I couldn’t help but return to the amazing Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh museums. We spent a whole day viewing spectacular masterpieces and could have gone back for more. Rembrandt, Vermeer, Steen, etc. are local heroes and the Rijksmuseum has a fabulous collection of each of them but they have also amassed a huge number of other great artists. Since I took a huge number of pictures of paintings the last time we were here, I took only one this time – that of a beautiful Newfoundland dog by Otto Eerleman. Outside the gate to the museum was a wonderful trio playing classical music. As for Van Gogh, I just can’t get enough of his work and the excellent collection was curated this time with those of artists who influenced him, as well as those whom he influenced. Fascinating!

The next day we went to Haarlem, a 20 minute train ride west of Amsterdam. It’s a beautiful historic city of cobblestone streets, medieval churches, and almshouses. Here we wandered throughout the centre core, enjoying the Saturday markets, the interior of the oldest church, and the ambience of families enjoying their day off. We visited the Corrie Ten Boom house, restored to perfectly illustrate the way that families (Jewish and Christians alike) were hidden during WWII. We had lunch in a church converted into a brewery and Tony enjoyed a flight of 3 different Dutch beer (a happy man)!

We took the train back to Amsterdam, pulled our suitcases out of the lockers in the station, and walked to our longship on the quay outside. On to a new adventure on the water.

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