Painters, prisoners, poofs and puffs
Trip Start May 01, 2006
122Trip End Sep 01, 2006
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The Van Gogh Museum is a very boring building on the outside but the layout and presentation on the inside is one of the best I have ever seen in an art gallery. The information on the walls was in large, easy to read type, short and informative. It flowed in chronological order around the rooms of the first floor interspersed with the paintings, drawings and letters from Van Gogh
After absorbing Mr Van Gogh for two hours we wandered across the road to the Coster Diamond Factory and spent a further hour vainly coveting the very beautiful jewellery on display. The "guided tour" was short yet informative about the various cuts and carats of diamonds, but very quickly the small crowd was directed into the buying rooms. Although the lady was keen for the BOSS to try on the many beautiful rings I managed to avoid getting my credit card out of the wallet.
We had bought the makings of a salad at the supermarket the previous evening so we sat in the museum park and ate our very cheap lunch. We would like to be able to do this every day, not only because it would save us 15 euros on lunch but also because we enjoy (and miss) salads and fresh vegetables. However supermarkets are rarely found in the middle of the cities where we have been staying and it is only when we stay in the suburbs that we can find such luxuries.
After our sumptuous lunch we caught yet another tram to Anne Frank's house
Although it was now 4:30 in the afternoon it was still very hot. We stopped for a drink at the gay monument - a large pink sculpture of three triangles dedicated to all the gays who were executed by the Nazi's. There is also a gay information centre or "pink point" on the corner offering alternative experiences and very different tours of Amsterdam.
We were unfortunately too late for the theatre museum which closed at 5pm, leaving the only museum that stayed open till late being the Hemp museum.
Everybody knows that Amsterdam is tolerant of marijuana and it can be bought freely from certain coffee shops. The image this evokes is crowds of stoned tourists and Dutch people wandering the streets. This could not be further from the truth. The BOSS and I wandered through the "seedy" part of town and although the coffee shops which sell marijuana were easily identifiable, we were neither offered any nor was any visible, unlike Nimbin in Australia.
The Hemp Museum was a very tasteful presentation of the history, products and manufacture of hemp and gave a factual representation of the process of it becoming illegal, mostly from the American perspective. It was not a sleazy underworld affair; instead it was informative and enlightening.
We finished the day with tapas for dinner and another hot, sticky ride on the tram.