Words From A First Timer In Amsterdam
If any of you are this way - a must is the Kroller-Muller museum. It is an hour or so drive from den Haag in the country. At the gates you can drive all the way in but the preferred way is to get on the white bikes at the gates and bike the 10km through the wide open landscape to the museum. Once there you can see the old masters - it has the largest collection of van Gogh in the world amongst other masters. The story of how it came to be is a gem in itself. There is a rambling sculpture garden and then modern artists too. I discovered that context is everything - it shapes perception. We saw art that is highly acclaimed that in another context would be pornographic, salacious at the least!
In den Haag we went to Maurithuis which is a museum in the middle of den Haag and it houses many masters. We saw the Girl with the Pearl Earring by Jon Vermeer and also his view of Delft. There were Rembrandts, Reuben’s, many others - to be centimetres away from paintings done 400 years ago is an astonishing thing - for me - amongst bored school children there for a history lesson with the real thing - the contrasts amuse me. The books we see just don’t get the colours right do they! Amazing to see so much in such a place.
We have been to the Kaukenhoff gardens - open 8 weeks a year - oh boy have we ever seen tulips! Yesterday it was Passiondale - moving and astonishing that so many young men (ANZACs) came to die in such a place. This was brought into sharp relief when we went on to Bruges an hour down the road where it seems life has gone on for centuries in a fairyland untouched. The contrast was
stark to me. Bruges - another canal trip under a bridge built in the 13th century - most though were 15th and 16th century.