Visual Diary: Weekend in Amsterdam

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.

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En route to Amsterdam from Münster

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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.

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When dinnertime rolled around, we had to pick between Dutch and Indian cuisine. It wasn’t a very difficult decision to make…

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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.

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