Today I was about to experience something that I had been thinking about since I decided I was coming to Amsterdam....the World's Largest Collection of Works by Vincent Van Gogh!!! Kenneth and I woke up early and took the tram to the Museum because we both knew we wanted to spend hours there! It was everything I imagined and more! Some of the masterpieces included the Sunflowers, Irises, Fishing Boats on the Beach, The Bedroom and Wheatfield with Crows. The museum also housed an extensive collection of works of art by other 19th century painters and sculptors. I had already seen part of the collection when it was on tour at the National Gallery several years ago but having the opportunity to see the full permentant collection in AMSTERDAM was AMAZING!!!
After the museum we walked toward the Jordan District and saw the Anne Frank House. This is where Anne Frank and her family and friends lived secretly in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam until their arrest only months before the Liberation. I read Anne Frank's diary and it was a very reflexive experience to pay homage to the house, preserved exactly as it was in 1944.
The rest of the afternoon we walked through the shopping districts and picked up some souvenirs-Mark even tried on a pair of Dutch wooden clogs!
We passed by gorgeous flower markets. Even though it was the off season, I was astonished with all of the beautiful bouquets, bulbs and live plants. Tulips are the universal symbol of the country, they are also part of the Dutch flower trade which accounts for 60 percent of the world market in exported flowers! I would love to be here during the Tulip season to see the explosion of blossoms! On the way back we stopped by a grocery store and did a little shopping. Anyone that knows me well of course knows how much I love grocery shopping. The grocery stores in Europe are amazing! First of all, you can receive an entire meal off of their delicious free samples. Plus, the stores are filled with tons of fresh produce, a large international wine and liquor section and isle after isle of gormet chocolate from all over Europe. Kenneth and I picked up some goat cheese, wasa crackers, Italian pinot noir, another bottle of Amarelo and some delicious dark chocolate infused with ginger (Lindt). We enjoyed this and of course some sweet mary jane then climbed into bed for our last night at Bob's.
I had a great time in Amsterdam. The people here were EXTREMELY relaxed and very down to earth. The general standard of living is very slow paced and easy going. However, for me I think it was almost too slow paced. I have a feeling if I lived here, I would never be able to accomplish anything or get anything done. The city also had a very touristy feel to it and almost reminded me of a European Atlantic City, lol. Of course the canals, bridges, and architecture was very European and well preserved, I left like a lot of the culture has been destroyed by the sex and drugs. But, oh well, isn't that why most people come here?!