This blog is now retired. My new site is at: Predictably Irrational.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Amsterdam Day Five

Today we ventured out to see the Van Gogh Museum.

We took the #10 tram, which is closer to our houseboat than the #26. I took these pictures while we waited for our tram:

Here I tried to catch a mom with her kid on a scooter *and* the people with the dog. This is a common scene throughout this great city:

Here's the #10 tram coming towards us (but on the other side)...this is the bridge we cross to get to the grocery store and to the #26 also crosses the water that our boat was set on:
On the tram into the city, there is a windmill that has a restaurant or bar next to it. We never had a chance to give it a try, but it is a cool sight to see:
A shot out of the back window of the tram:
To get to the Van Gogh, we get off at the same spot that we left our water taxi on day two. The first amazing building you see is the Rijksmuseum, which contains some of the finest art work from Dutch artists. We did not go through this building as it was under renovation. It is open but only part of it and with so much to see in this great city, we chose to drop it from our list.

This beautiful home was admired by us on Day Two, when the water taxi went passed it. I got a good shot of it on this day:
Just a couple more shots of pedestrians and bikers WITH KIDS...there is nothing that stops these people from pedaling or walking:

Between the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh, there is a huge park. This is a picture of the starting can see Amsterdam's tourist slogan in reverse in the background:
This is what it looks like on the other side...which, BTW, I think is a genius slogan:
This is one part of the Van Gogh museum:
and this is the other side, which is the main part:
Amsterdam is really tech-savvy. There is updated information as you buy tickets to enter the museum, via monitors:
As with many things to see INDOORS in this city, pictures are not allowed. But I learned a lot about this Dutch master, Vincent Van Gogh, and the museum displays it well and is extremely informative. We were given an audio thingy to listen to (by a patron leaving the museum) and you can select any language to listen to...not sure if this is how it is at Raleigh's art museum, but if it isn't, they should consider providing this wonderful service.

After the Van Gogh, we walked over to Vondelpark.

We didn't go too far into the park, so we missed a lot of what this park is famous for...apparently, we hit the end of the park that was also under renvoation and many, um, down-on-your-luckers, were hanging out.

I kept asking Tim if he saw any needles laying around. I later found out that I confused Vondelpark as a reputed "Needle Park" from the 90s, where heroin users were allowed to shoot up at a public park...but this park was not in Amsterdam, but in Switzerland.

ANYWAY, once you walk out of Vondelpark, your at a very busy, touristy section. So touristy that the Hard Rock Cafe sits right, dead straight ahead. Uncle Phillip has been wanting to hit the Hard Rock Cafe, to pick up his Amsterdam HRC shirt, so we headed there for a drink and a t-shirt.

I was being pretty snobbish about going there because it's _commercial_ and I want to hit LOCAL. But once the wonderful bartender, Zelda, poured me a glass of wine equivalent to half a bottle, I felt a little better about setting in there.

Of course, it's at this moment that my daughters decide to have a crying contest. Let's see...what did it this time? CJ: "She broke my pen!" Mi-Mi "She won't let me play with the pen!" WAAAAAAHHH!

After that, we ate at little place before me and the girls headed back to the houseboat, while Tim and Uncle Phil decided to explore the red light district...

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