Saturday, August 28, 2004

A Visit to the Rijksmuseum

A Visit to the Rijksmuseum
24 August 2004

Roland was unable to get off of work and Ilke was in school, so it was just Angelique and me making the trip into Amsterdam. I wanted to stop at the Anne Frank house to get a book and DVD for my neice and god-daughter. From there we went to the Leidseplein to pick up t-shirts at the Bulldog Cafe (no, I didn't stop to imbibe, inhale or ingest in any way!) and then onto the Rijksmuseum. After how many times I have been in A'dam, I can't believe that I never made it to the Rijksmuseum.

Very impressive! Rembrandt, Vermeer, Steen and I especially enjoyed a piece by Ferdinand Bol. He painted a piece that was thought for a long time to have been done by Rembrandt. The portrait of Elizabeth Jacobsdr Bas is so real that it looks like it is a photograph. To think that it was painted in 1640, you'd have thought that she just sat for the portrait yesterday! The wrinkles in her hands and face have such a realistic quality, it is unbelievable that Bol's brush was able to capture and preserve the details from almost 350 ago onto the canvas.

The major highlight of the visit is, of course, Rembrandt's "Night Watch." It is really a beautiful piece that is probably 15 feet tall by about 20 feet wide. I also loved seeing "The Sampling Officials." Having played the board game, Masterpiece as a kid, I always remembered that piece by Rembrandt--and now I finally got to see the real thing-live!

We got stuck in traffic on the way home, but we were back by about 6. Angelique had bought the spiced meat, pita's and all the necessary sauces for Shawarma's that night. It was as good or better than I remember them to be all of those 17 years ago. Gotta say that I really have missed that too. There used to be a great shawarma shop just around the corner from t'Pumpke and The Bonta Os (Roland's parent's bars on Molenstraat) in Nijmegen. On the weekends that we would go into Nijmegen from Kalkar, we would always end up stopping for shawarma's and getting enough to take home for Sunday lunch.

You know, my parents never told me that I would spend part of my life chasing down the experiences I loved from my younger life. But you know what? It has been just as much fun finding those experiences again.
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