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Canals are everywhere throughout the low lying countryside and all over Amsterdam which adds to the ambience of the experience....
Once you land in Amsterdam, be prepared to understand the luggage thing as Amsterdam is a crossroads city for all of Europe and the Asian continent. There were 28 baggage claim areas spread out over 3 separate buildings. I ended up walking the entire area until I finally found a main display which told me what baggage container unloaded my suitcases. Unfortunately, it was unloaded on carriage #2 so I ended up walking the entire baggage claim twice! Lesson learned.
The main displays were on the back side of the baggage claims. I only discovered them as I had to use the restroom so luck found me! This was very surprising as I found the experience in Amsterdam to be extremely enjoyable.
Four things right off the bat about Holland.
1. Everyone speaks fluent english
2. Dutch people are some of the happiest and kindest people on the planet. They are very helpful and will go out of their way to assist you.
3. The Dutch culture is bigtime savy on high tech! It is very common to see people with 2 or 3 electronic devises which they interface quickly. It is apparent the Dutch education system is dialed in bigtime!
4. Dutch people are huge as in TALL!! The average height of a Dutch woman is 5'10" It is quite common to see men 6'6" and taller. It is very interesting to see a man over 6'6" in his late 80s.
Not all citizens of Amsterdam are tall as it is an international city of all cultures and races, which makes the Dutch citizen look even taller!
Apart from the thousands and thousands of bikes you see all over Amsterdam, the city has one of the easiest and well maintained multiple modes of transportation. The ultra modern hotel I stayed at for $80.00 a night was only a short walk to the train station which whisked me into Amsterdam approximately 15 miles away. Although the ticket machines are all in Dutch, anyone will be more than willing to assist you.
Amsterdam has multiple modes of transportation to choose from. The second day I selected an unlimited tram ticket which allowed me to jump on any tram throughout the city.
My first priority was the Vincent Van Gogh museum!! Definitely a destination on my bucket list!
The Van Gogh museum contains over 200 original paintings. One of the first on display was one of Vincent's early works called "The Potato Eaters" I was amazed how large this painting is considering it was one of his first. It was approximately 5' by 5'
This was painted before Vincent went to Paris and was influenced with color. It is an amazing painting in it's monochromatic composition. You get a real feeling of humble living indeed.
The Self Portraits of Vincent...
The second day in Amsterdam, I headed for the National Art Museum of Holland which houses the Dutch Masters work to include Rembrandt.
More than any other artist in history, Rembrandt painted over 900 self portraits. This one is a painting he did depicting himself as the apostle Paul.
This museum only had one Van Gogh which surprised me but I just figured they are hard to get. This painting was intriguing as the way Vincent handled the painting of his eyes. One looked unfinished which gave the viewer a feeling of uncertainty.
Other Dutch Masters work...
The sheer size of this masterpiece, apart from the detail was incredible...
The Dutch masters who painted still life's wanted to impress the viewer with immense detail and control of the medium.
Here are some remarkable examples....
The gallery crowd gives you a better idea how large the masterpiece is....
Into the city of Amsterdam...
Did I mention the Dutch are VERY TALL! The average Dutch woman
Unfortunately, all great journeys come to an end. The only part of the journey I did not look forward to was the 14 hours it took to fly back to Alaska.
Through it all, it was an incredible trip and experience. I am certain I will be looking forward to my next trip.
Thank you for looking at my journey. It was a pleasure to share it with you.
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