So as promised here comes the post from our second day in Amsterdam…
After another wonderful breakfast in the hotel we set off to visit the Stedelijk museum. The museum is the most meaningful for modern and contemporary art and design in the Netherlands. Luckily audio guides are offered for free which really helps when viewing the artworks. I don’t know about you, but I often find myself looking at an object in museum an trying to fathom what on earth the artist was thinking when he or she constructed it. Modern art especially can be quite strange at times and while of course art is meant for interpretation as much as truly understanding the artists motivation – I do feel that gaining a bit of context helps me better understand the message. For example, the string of lights shown in some of the pictures below are by an artist who wanted to commemorate his partner who has sadly passed from Aids. Without knowing this information, I would have simply looked at the lights and thought – oh that looks nice – and walked on. Realising what these lights represent to the artist makes you stop and think about it for a second. I think it is a really nice way to be remembered and made me think of the Smiths’ song “there is a light and it never goes out”.
We then decided to make the most of our day travel pass and got on the tram line 2, which takes you on a little tour around Amsterdam – it has even been named as one of the most scenic tram tours in the world by National Geographic Traveller magazine. We got off at the tulip markets where I got some bulbs to take home to my mum who loves gardening. We were feeling a little peckish at this point and found a little pub along one of the canals – with a beautiful view over the water and the houses opposite.
Amsterdam is a fantastic city to just explore, walk or cycle around – you never know what might be hiding around the next corner. The streets and canals are just so fantastic to look at and we were so lucky with the weather.
There won’t be a post on day 3 as we didn’t take many photos. It was our final day and we spent the morning with one of my favourite artists, Vincent Van Gogh. The Van Gogh museum, founded by the artists nephew, houses the largest collection of artworks by the famous Dutch painter. I would highly recommend going for a visit if you are planning a trip to Amsterdam. Again – go for the audio guide and really gain insight into the life and works of such an amazing man. I learned so much more than I thought I would, and time really flew by. At the moment the museum has an exhibition with David Hockney, another favourite. Aptly named “Two Painters, One Love”, the exhibition showcases the fascination that both artists have with nature. Van Gogh was one of the first to paint nature not as it was in reality, but how he felt it. Similarly, Hockney uses vibrant colours when capturing the dynamism of nature, using pink to paint tree trunks or yellow for pathways.
I hope these two posts from Amsterdam inspired you to travel there some day – it really is a wonderful city.