On our Saturday in Amsterdam, we set the alarm for 9 a.m., and within an hour were ready, out, about and on our way. In the morning light, the surrounding area was much more visible, and we saw that we were situated right on the water’s edge, in Spaarndammerbuurt, a quiet and calm area outside of the main city center.
After a quick stopover at the nearby Bagels & Beans, we wandered the streets toward the central station, taking in buildings and all locals setting up for a street fair. Meanwhile, I couldn’t help but stop and take pictures because of all the interesting sites, cute little shops and beautiful architecture.
Finally we made it to our destination, where we bought 24-hour transit passes, got a handy-dandy map, and caught a tram to Leidseplein to buy ourselves a museum card; while the initial plan was to buy two of them, we were able to borrow one, so only one of us needed to buy one, which saved us a considerable amount of money.
Yet by the time all of this was taken care of, we’d both worked up a slight appetite, so M. and I stopped to get fries (although he first got some sunglasses at the nearby H&M to stand in for his own, which he’d forgotten to pack). Then we got food – I went to Chipsy King because they had the peanut sauce I craved, while M. went to Maoz to get fries with mayonnaise. Both of us ended up pretty pleased with our choices.
We continued on our way, opting to walk the short distance to Museumplein instead of taking public transportation. Once we arrived, we immediately got in line for the Rijksmuseum. Seeing as it’s a national museum, it was full of many historical paintings and artifacts from over the years. Some were interesting, and others were boring, as tends to be the case in museums. Also, since it’s under construction, only one wing was open, but it still was enough; we spent a good 2-3 hours inside.
We took a short break in the sunshine, and then headed next to the Van Gogh Museum, which was hands-down amazing. I loved the artwork and never realized I was a fan of so many of his paintings; both M. and I thoroughly enjoyed our time there, and stayed until closing time. In addition to the paintings and drawings and letters of Van Gogh, there was also a pretty sizable collection of paintings from his friends and contemporaries, many of which his brother had purchased and used to establish a gallery of after his death.
Post-closing time, we enjoyed more of the warm sun while sitting on the grass on the square, and then made our way to Indian food for dinner. Our experience was a bit ridiculous, but we didn’t let it get to us too much, going for a walk through whatever streets called out to us, although we directed our route toward where we were staying, also keeping an eye out for a grocery store. Eventually we stumbled across one, and picked up supplies for the train ride home.
Our final stop of the day, although somewhat impromptu, was for ice cream – but I’ve never been one to say no to that. So we got some lemon sorbet and enjoyed it on our way back to base camp.
And although it was a Saturday night, we were exhausted, so after a short while of reading, we went to sleep to prepare for yet another full day.