<— Day 2
Day 4 –>
On the morning of Day 3, I awoke in a hotel room to the sound of rain. After the sun came up, I made my first peak out the hotel window. Yep, I was in Amsterdam in winter.
Eleven months earlier, in a Texas airport I read an article in the Sunday Financial Times reporting that the Rijksmuseum, the national gallery of the Netherlands had reopened after a multi-year renovation. I had been to the Rijks museum a half-dozen times before always with colleagues, friends and loved ones, and always during the renovation when only one-quarter of the museum was open. On this Saturday I would have most of day to enjoy the museum without concern for anyone else but me.
I checked out of my hotel and left my bags at the front desk. In delight, I negotiated the streets of Amsterdam. Again, I could have taken a cab, but you know, it’s Amsterdam.
I walked in, joyfully paid my money and feeling like a kid in a candy store, entered this place for the first time since June 2009. The renovated museum was beautiful. Like a nerd, I rushed through the gallery rooms to find my favorite piece, l’amour merςnant, “the menacing love” by Etienne Maurice Falonet, a statue made for Madame de Pompadour, mistress of King Louis XV.
As the museum had just opened I was afforded the luxury of sitting quietly with this piece for an unusually long while. People who know me would not believe that I could sit quietly for so long. Although I wanted to see the entire museum, I wanted to savor this precious time with this piece that is so special to me. I took dozens of pictures from every angle I could think of to try to capture the details. I sat quietly looking at this piece in its newly remodelled home. I was happy.
The 7 minute video below presents the highlights of my visit to the Rijks. I had seen so many of these pieces before that they felt like old friends. I will admit that just seeing the video, I get giddy.
As the hours past, the museum filled up. At one point I looked out the window and saw a line of people all the way down the street, standing in the rain, waiting to get in. Never underestimate the value of getting to a museum when it opens, no matter how much time you have.
Before leaving the museum, I sat with l’amour merςnant again. As much as I despise the loving of things, I had to admit that I love this statue. I said goodbye to the piece and made my way out.
I walked back to the hotel, gathered my luggage and caught a cab to the Amsterdam Central train station. By 3:30pm I was back at Schipol Airport and then by 6pm I was in London. Three trains later, and I was at my sister’s house drinking a nice cup of tea.
Standing on the train in London, it all felt surreal. I spent about 30 hours in Amsterdam and now I was in here. I did a quick tally and was amazed that I had been on 11 different trains in 3 days in 3 countries. Newark to New York and back, across the Netherlands and about London. It amazes me sometimes just how comfortable I am getting around. It amazes me how blessed I am.
|Friends/Family Visited||3 + 1 statue|