For day 6 of #blogjune a short stay in Amsterdam
Arriving on the IC train from Rotterdam, Amsterdam is an amazing contrast. Amsterdam Centraal Station seems almost cosy compared with its modern cousin down south and as you come out of the station the line of imposing old buildings is, well, quite imposing.
It was an early Saturday evening and sadly at least half the people in the area appeared to be (1) groups of British lads and hens parties and (2) most of them pissed to the eyeballs.
There was a much nicer feel once we made our way to the lodgings for our two night stay, the Max Brown Hotel on Herengracht – the Lord’s Canal. The Max Brown consists of the two dark grey canal houses second from right in the picture below and we had the room on the top floor of the canal house on the right. You read about “picture postcard views” but this was the real deal. The two strapping young men at reception offered to help us with our cases, and when we saw the narrow and steeply winding staircase I realised why – I started up at first with my case and almost fell backwards down the stairs.
It turned out to be a great location, just a few minutes walk to Amsterdam Centraal where we could pick up travel passes and ride the trams, but far enough away that we could avoid the craziness and take a quiet stroll alongside the lovely canals.
The next day we rode the tram out to the Van Gogh Museum which was a delightful way to spend a Sunday morning. I think the Rijksmuseum might have been a bit overwhelming for a short stay but this lovely museum was just perfect – we’ll save the Rijksmuseum for next time.
There was one small exhibit that I think most people walked past but I stood looking at for the longest time, wondering if I could sneak a photo. It’s a red lacquered box containing balls of yarn that Van Gogh used to try out colour combinations. My friend Steven got a photo – I’m very jealous!
Under bright blue skies we walked back to the park near the Rijksmuseum and bought veggie burgers from one of the food stands. We should have bought a pack of the Van Gogh potato chips in the museum shop too – it was the perfect day for a picnic in the sunshine.