Amsterdam – Day Two

Sunday morning, the 22nd of April, was another absolutely gorgeous day to explore further in Amsterdam. I started out by riding my bike around Vondelpark a little before venturing out onto the streets and there I found a newly hatched gaggle of baby goslings!

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I planned to visit several places that day, such as the Rijks Museum, Hortus Botanicus (Botanical Garden), the Hermitage Amsterdam, and the Bloemenmarkt (a floating flower market). All locations are relatively in the same area of the city in relation to the Vondelpark Hostel where I stayed and could be reached by bicycle on an approximate 4-mile route.  (I wouldn’t want to walk it though as it would take too long).

mapI grabbed my rental bike after breakfast and a cruise through Vondelpark and headed off to the first stop, Rijks Museum to enjoy the priceless treasures it holds within.

The collection of the Rijksmuseum consists of 1 million objects and is dedicated to arts, crafts, and history from the years 1200 to 2000. Around 8000 objects are currently on display in the museum. The collection contains more than 2,000 paintings from the Dutch Golden Age by notable painters such as Jacob van Ruisdael, Frans Hals, Johannes Vermeer, Jan Steen, Rembrandt, and Rembrandt’s pupils. The museum also has a small Asian collection which is on display in the Asian pavilion.

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There were so many beautiful paintings and I certainly can’t share them all but have picked a few I thought you might appreciate:

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IMG_0039I was so enthralled with the masterpieces, I almost forgot to take a picture of the interior of the building! It was massive with several floors.

Now, back to the masterpieces…

 

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After a couple of hours of enjoying all of these beautiful paintings and objects, I headed back outside to try to absorb what I had witnessed while enjoying the gardens and the sunshine.

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After a nice rest, I climbed back on the bike and headed toward my next destination, Hortus Botanicus.

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First I headed to the glass house to see what they had in there…

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Then I wandered about the grounds while enjoying the spring wood hyacinths…

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…when I happened upon the Palm House…

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Next was this great Butterfly House!

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Further on I found a lot of Tulips and Imperial Fritillaria…

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Followed by a pond, some early lilies and hedge-bordered perennial beds that will be blooming later in the season.

Finishing with the first blooming Rhododendrons and Azaleas, with ferns growing amongst the wooded pathways…

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That was an oasis of color and surprises, next I headed a short distance to the next museum, Hermitage of Amsterdam. I noticed in the airplanes’ magazine while flying over that the Hermitage was hosting a special exposition. For the first time in its existence, the Hermitage Amsterdam is mounting a show of Dutch masters from the renowned St Petersburg collection. The Nieuwe Keizersgracht wing showcases one of the greatest treasures of the State Hermitage: the world’s leading collection of Dutch Golden Age painting outside the Netherlands.

No fewer than 63 works by 50 different artists have been brought to Amsterdam for a unique exhibition that celebrates the paintings first (brief) ‘home-coming’ in 250 years.  A rare opportunity to see paintings that the public haven’t seen because they have been stashed away in private estates!

The Hermitage Amsterdam is located in a lovely spot on the banks of the Amstel, next to the small Walter Suskinbrug (the white bridge), and between the Blauwbrug (Blue Bridge) to the north and the Magerebrug (Skinny Bridge) to the south.

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Inside the paintings were absolutely exquisite like the ones I had seen earlier in the Rijks Museum…

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They even had these huge vases that had some of the masterpieces we’ve seen painted directly on them! Amazing!

By the time I finished viewing all of the masterpieces I decided it was time to head back outside and head to my final destination, Bloemenmarkt, a floating flower market which sells all kinds of flowers, bulbs to plant and even some “special” starter kits!

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I finished off the day by riding the bike casually back to the hostel through parks and neighborhoods and finding myself back at the Museum Square where I had started. I had been afraid that my knees would have been too swollen and bruised to do much of anything, but to my surprise, they were fine.  Still a bit sore, but riding the bicycle about town seemed to have kept them limber and moving.  Probably better off than just sitting and being immobile!

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I was also extremely pleased because the following day I would be boarding a boat to go on a 5-day “bike ‘n boat’ tour that I have been looking forward to doing for a number of years and I didn’t want to miss that opportunity!

Hope you’ve enjoyed seeing some of the beautiful masterpiece paintings and art objects.  My next blog post we will climb on board the Magnifique III at dockside. I think you might enjoy that too!

I close with my “Attitude of Gratitude” for today ~

I am grateful to the people throughout the ages that have had the foresight and ability to preserve all of those stunning hand-painted masterpieces of the Netherlands’ finest artists and their willingness to make them available to the average person by sharing their beauty within museum walls.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author: Claudia Frew

Adventuresome, independent, and fun-loving American 65-year young great-grandmother who loves to travel; often going solo!

One thought on “Amsterdam – Day Two”

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