Friday, July 7, 2017

Bikes, Cars, and Buses! Oh my!

In Amsterdam, there are a large amount of bike riders.  There are three separate lanes for the bikes, cars, and the buses all over the city and they all go in different directions.  No grid.  No clear rhyme or reason.  There is also a sidewalk, but occasionally the motorcycles or bikes go on them as well when it suits them.  We had to jump out of the way of a motorcycle and he seemed to think it was humorous and swerved a little more towards us.  The bikes just go with either the pedestrian traffic or the cars depending on which light is green.  Crazytown!

Don't know if you can see, but the bridges are all lined with bikes chained to them except for where there are signs forbidding bike parking.  That's how many bikes there are in the city that they have to have "No bike parking" zones.

One of the outside areas around the museum

In the morning, on Saturday, we went to the Rijksmuseum for breakfast and to look around all morning.   We did the entire museum in about two and a half or three hours.  The museum itself had been recently redone, some of it was a bit modern like the strange white abstract skeleton seats and statues, but other parts were very well done with stained glass windows and an attractive architecture.

Pretty sweet breakfast spread!

Cool arches and ceilings were in between rooms.

Here's another cool room in the Rijksmuseum.

I took a picture of this because I want Brian to make me something similar one day for my tea cups.  Not too ambitious, right?

There was a library room that is still a working library.  I took a picture of this for Hannah, my biggest bookworm.
 The big popular painting of the museum is Rembrandt's The Nightwatch.  Other paintings of note were a couple of Van Gogh's works, Vermeer's The Milkmaid, and several of Pieter de Hooch's works (with whom I am rather recently becoming enamored.)

The outside of the museum at the entrance
 For lunch we went to a tiny spot that serves omelettes called Omelegg.  This is a very small place with very low prices, but it was a find from my searches before going to Amsterdam, and it had a line outside waiting for a seat.  It was well worth it.  The menu was a trendy wooden engraved board with more mouth-watering choices than I could have hoped for.  My only regret is that we couldn't fit it in to come back before we left the city.

We went to the Sunday vigil Mass which happened to be in English at St. Francis Xavier.  It was really a refreshingly beautiful Mass with a solid priest who gave a good message and even mentioned respecting life, which is bold (and wonderful) in a country that allows assisted suicide.  The cantor was outstanding!!!  (Notice the exclamation points.  There's a reason for them.)  He played the cello during the offering and had the best voice I have ever heard in person.  It was just so perfect for our Mama souls on our trip.  If you ever find yourself in Amsterdam, don't miss out on this opportunity.

After Mass we went to the gin experience/tour.  There was an audio guided tour about the making of the gin that began with a crazy weird taste enhancing booth at the beginning where we drank a small amount of cayenne pepper gin and ended with a free gin cocktail.  I chose a fluffy gin martini.  

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