24 September 2014

Houses, Amsterdam

Line your own canal with little ceramic houses
Where to start, with the hundreds of photos taken over the past week? Amsterdam is a very photogenic city, and we went to a lot of places and saw interesting things.

For my own record - and as a recommendation if you're planning to visit - here's a list of the places we visited, in no particular order -

- the Central Library is fabulous - seven airy floors of books and other collections - in a few minutes, you feel more "civilised" even if you don't actually pick up a book

- the Tropenmuseum is one of my favourites - ethnographic collections and good temporary exhibitions, currently by Jasper Krabbe

- Hortus Botanicus has been going for 375 years and has a very nice caf, as well as greenhouses and all sorts of other plants

- the Jewish Historical Museum currently has a fabulous photo exhibition, the Howard Greenberg collection ... but we didn't have time to see any of the museum itself

- Amsterdam Museum gives you, should you take time to read the labels and think about what you're seeing, a good history of the city, though those labels are rather heavy on the "city of prosperity and freedoms" message

- the Rijksmuseum is on everyone's list, of course - and aren't there a lot of guided tours there at any one moment! We spent most time in the "special collections", especially the ship models

- NEMO, the science museum, has lots of interactive activities for kids (and adults) but be warned, it's noisy and active!

- historic boat collection is along the quay beside Nemo - many of the boats are lived on - more big boats are along the quays of Java Island

- the Maritime Museum knocks the socks off the one in London - wonderful displays, lots of little videos explaining things, and the model ships include smaller boats with carefully-stitched sails

- cutting-edge photography exhibitions at Huis Marseilles and Foam

- modern and contemporary art at the Stedelijk Museum - the current exhibition is Marlene Dumas, and the caf is kept busy

- parks - Flevopark in the east, and Vondelpark just south of where we were staying - walking in these wonderful green spaces is very restorative, but as everywhere, you have to watch out for bikes

Now for some street scenery -
Leaning forward ... in anticipation of something?
Front garden!
Red lights, hmm...
Another forward-leaner ... Anno 1653, it says on the gable
In the roundels, twin wolves
Bring out the sofa from your houseboat if the the weather is fine
Note the accordion player, top left (it may help to click on the photo to enlarge it)

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