What’s not to love about Amsterdam? It’s a sight to behold, what with all the refreshing brown brick houses, ornate bridges and canal-lined streets. It also happens to be one of the world’s most culturally diverse cities. The first time I was here was in February of last year; it was bitterly cold. I paid a visit to the Body Worlds exhibit, which I highly recommend.
Having grudgingly gotten used to the German way of avoiding eye contact and/or small talk with strangers, I was pleasantly taken aback when I entered a public restroom in the Netherlands only to be greeted with a warm smile from a fellow customer. The rest of my experiences only confirmed the fact that the Dutch are friendly folk.
I was thrilled to finally visit the Van Gogh Museum (although the 17-Euro entry fee is a tad steep – sigh, the irony!). Growing up, I’d been fascinated by art books that had served as a portal into the world of Caravaggio, Monet, Cézanne, Cassatt and, of course, Van Gogh. What a surreal experience to finally see those works in real life and understand the way his style transformed over the years, shaped by life experiences.
As an aside, I only just learned that we English speakers have been terribly mispronouncing Van Gogh’s name. Here’s how to say it the Dutch way.
When dinnertime rolled around, we had to pick between Dutch and Indian cuisine. It wasn’t a very difficult decision to make…
Amsterdam is only a couple of hours away from Münster. We rented a car but there are frequent bus, train and flight options to choose from. I do wish there were more interesting eateries along the highway though! There’s only so much McDonald’s one can take.