Rijksmuseum revisted

August 12th, 2013 , 20:46

So the Rijksmuseum has reopened and Joe had to be in Amsterdam – reasons to go to Amsterdam!

While Joe worked I wondered around the city. We arrived Thursday morning, off the overnight ferry, so were a bit tired on Thursday. I walked from the hotel down to the offices taking my time and arriving about the time Joe was finishing up. We then headed out to dinner with his colleague. Drinks by the water while discussing where to go and his colleague suggested a really nifty sounding place on the other side of the harbour – where I’d never been. So yay, off we go.

At first the place was really nice – sort of a greenhouse building with lots of seating outside and around. As we went up Joe said ‘this is like Glastonbury!’ So we find our table – which is right in the centre of the place (this is important!) – and check the menu and specials. We order. Our drinks arrived and we were told that part of our order was no longer available, so we changed the order. Then we waited. And then we waited. And waited.  And waited a bit more. Finally asked where the starter was and waited a bit longer. It turned up, but missing parts so we got that sorted and ate the starter which was nice. Then went back to waiting. And waiting. And waiting. We had to ask again where our food was and was told it was on the way. So we waited. Now at this point it’s getting late and we hadn’t yet checked in at the hotel (just dropped the bags off as we were far too early to check in). So we ring the hotel to let them know we’d a bit later than we thought. And went back to waiting. Finally dinner turns up and it was good, but really not worth the wait or the cost (despite the discount we got). Worst service we’ve ever had – but it was funny the following day.

So after all that we didn’t get to the hotel until nearly midnight (we were at the restaurant for about 7.30). The hotel staff actually recognised Joe (he’s been there far too often without me!) and asked if we’d had a good day. Joe just said ‘until tonight!’ And finally to the room – which was really nice and much much larger than most in Amsterdam.  So I highly recommend the Conscious Hotel Vondalpark (haven’t stayed at the one near the Museumplein). The staff are really nice, the rooms are comfortable, and they have a really nice seating area downstairs. We didn’t do the breakfast (it is a bit expensive) but Joe has had it in the past and says it’s nice.

Friday Joe had to work again (awwww) so I slept in a bit (having got in so late the night before) then headed out to the Willet-Holthuysen Museum, which is a canal house built in the 17th century. In the 19th century the last owner willed it to the city – she and her husband were collectors and the house and collections were left – as long as it was opened to the public. It is currently being restored to how it looked when it was handed over to the city, but at the moment it still has some rooms done in 17th or 18th century style. It is a really nice building to wander around.

I then headed to the Amsterdam Museum – got a discount as the Willet-Holthuysen is part of the Amsterdam Museum. It is a really nice building and really interesting to wander around. Some great exhibits. Of course Joe rang to say he was done at work long before I was done at the museum! So had to leave to meet up for drinks and dinner at Stoop en Stoop, a Dutch restaurant. Really good pea and sausage soup!

And finally Saturday and the reason we were in Amsterdam (forget that boring work stuff) – the newly refurbished Rijksmuseum! Walked across the Vondalpark (that was one thing, though it was a bit cloudy at times, we had wonderful weather, perfect for walking around the city and through the parks) and got to the museum just as it was opening. No one queued up at all, so we were quickly in and looking at masterpieces. It did fill up quickly though – trying to see the Hall of Honour is difficult especially the major works (Night Watch and the Milkmaid). But the whole museum is really nice – with lots to see. We spent most of the day there (until Joe starting asking to leave, I could have stayed longer). Then walked back through the Vondalpark, taking our time and stopping for a drink. Got the ferry early – the hotel is right near Lelylaan station and you can get trains to Schiedam and from there to Hoek and the ferry.

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