Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Amsterdam Trip 2017. Day 7

SAT MAR 18 - A cold, wet, grey, drizzly day.

Took the Metro subway to Nieumarkt in the old city and poked around the market stalls.  Mushrooms.  Specialty cheeses. Nuts.  Lots and lots of fresh cut flowers. 

Random root veggies

Went to the Amsterdam Museum, the historical (and historic) museum.  This would be a good place to go first - like we planned - but it cemented lot of things we had been picking up on. Canals, various Willems, the VOC, etc.  The current special exhibit was on the 100th anniversary of the Schipol Airport.  There was a big, four-screen, panoramic time-lapse film  of the airport.  Control tower view?  Planes streaming in, storms gathering and rolling through, night falling.  Also shots of the baggage level, terminals, parking, etc.  Very cool.  15 minutes or so.

Lunch at the Amsterdam Museum Cafe’.  These museum cafe’s have been uniformly excellent.  I ordered a sandwich of Amsterdam Sausage, which is supposedly traditional.  Turns out this is a raw, spiced kind of thing, kind of like steak tartare.  Surprise!  But it was very lean and actually very good.  Tradition!

Behind the museum is a pretty, quiet courtyard that encloses the Old English Church, gardens, etc.  Begijnhof.  It was once a home for unmarried Catholic lay women in the 1400’s. People still live there now.

Took the self-guided audio tour of the Royal Palace.  Originally it was built as the town hall, with offices, court rooms, etc, only on a grand palatial scale.  Ironically, when the various Napoleons took over the Netherlands, they turned it into a residential palace.  Most of the rooms are currently done up in that kind of style, with only the room names hinting at the original use. ”Treasury Office, Lower Court, Burgermasters Meeting Room”, and so on.

The Dutch Royal Palace

Ate at Haesje Claes, a very traditionally Dutch place. Rambling and cozy, with traditional Dutch fare.  Split pea soup, plate o’ cheese, beef steak.  Local beer. 

Back to the Old English Church to listen to the Danish Women’s Choir, Nordlys, perform their winter concert.  About two dozen singers.  Music was from old to new, from traditional to very modern.  The audience filled the main pews of the church, maybe 200 people, and there was another performance following.

The Metro hole we needed was closed for repair, and we couldn’t find another entrance, even after much fruitless tromping, so we walked back.  Had we not tromped so long in search of the mysterious, and very possibly non-existent, Metro entrance, we would have already been most of the way back. At least stopped raining and warmed up a bit.

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