A Wholesome Experience..

Trip Start Apr 12, 2008
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Trip End Jun 18, 2008


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Flag of Netherlands  ,
Thursday, May 29, 2008

<Brian's brief chronological list of "highlights" (and of whinging)>
 
- We thought we had better do some of the museums since it was our last full day in Amsterdam, so first up, the Rijksmuseum. We were pretty early, so there was no line and we managed to walk straight in. Highlights here include the big paintings by Rembrandt such as the Sampling Officials and the Night Watch... these paintings are truly awesome to see for real and the reproductions do not give it justice.
- Feeling all wholesome and clean from the Rijksmuseum, we decided to try the opposite side of the spectrum by visiting the famous Sex museum. If you're into black and white porn with dudes with weirdass facial hair, boy is this the place for you! Otherwise, stick to the internet. There are also giant statues of penises and vaginas, if you don't know what one looks like. The history information part is interesting... where you can learn about the different types of porn and sex... who knew the Americans invented anal? We all knew they love taking it up the ass...
- Since the sex museum opens up to a navy of Canal cruise operators, we decided to go on one since it's one of the things all tourists have to do... can't report much here since I fell asleep before the boat even left the harbour it was in. After the cruise, we went back to the hotel for a 2 hour sleep break.
- Got woken up by an sms from Terry on our mobile... so we went out for a drink with him in Leidseplein, followed by dinner at Gauchos where we had all you can eat ribs... yummo! 3 plates of ribs later, I was full and we called it a night.
 
<Lang's Extended Version>
 
We had watched a documentary sometime last year on the ABC about Rembrandt and were very impressed by his works and his 'business'. Basically the documentary was about how he had an art school and branded his student's art as his own and sold them... so they've spent the last few years trying to work out what a real Rembrandt was and what was not after people spent like millions on it, so there was no better place to check out a few of his works than the Rijksmuseum..
 
So after breakfast, we quickly made our way to the Rijksmuseum and surprisingly, there was no lineup so we went straight in. The first few rooms were interesting, covering the history of the Netherlands, and then following on, there were displays of doll houses, which were ornately decorated. It was very interesting to find out that some women spent excessive amounts of money on this past time of theirs, even commissioning furniture and art to be a scaled replica of what they had in their own homes..
 
This lead to the main attractions of this museum - Rembrandt's Sampling Officials and the Night Watch paintings.. They were definitely impressive as Rembrandt's master on light and shadows really showed. The candidness of the poses and the expressions on the faces of the people were also brilliantly portrayed..
 
Over 3 hours later, we headed back to the Dam for a bite to eat and then onto the infamous Sex Museum.. It was full on to say the least and they really didn't leave much to the imagination, so if you're easily offended, give it a miss.. Then again, what's Amsterdam without visiting a place like this??
 
There were 3 floors of sex memorabilia and the like, covering the history of porn from the ancient European and Asian times to the present where there is anal, bestiality, S&M etc.  Oh, the dummies in their various positions and giant anatomical pieces were funny too.. One lady from Perth was video taping the displays while muttering, "my mum's going to have a heart attack", while Brian replied, "Only if you don't get her a good present from here".. hahaha..
 
So after that experience, we decided to do what all tourists (and no locals) do and went on a canal cruise with recorded commentary.. What do you know, Brian fell asleep as soon as we pulled away from the dock.. I lasted about of the way before I was dozing off also but still managed to learn that the government spent millions of Euros to build low barriers along the canals as heaps of people were driving their cars over the edge.. Despite that, they still have to fish out at least one car a week driven by lead-footed drivers..
 
Once the cruise was over, we headed back to the hotel for a siesta and was only woken up by Terry prank calling us.. We organised to meet up at Leidseplein for a drink, then walked around thinking that we'd catch Indianna Jones at the cinemas, but as it turned out, the timing was all wrong and we ended up at the Dam again. That night we had dinner at Gaucho's where Terry and Brian ordered all-you-can-eat ribs, while I had a small steak and some of Brian's ribs (you know what I mean!)..
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