On our free day in the Netherlands, I found myself in Amsterdam. I stayed overnight because I attended a concert the night before. The hotel I stayed at was called the Backstage Hotel, and it looked like it had housed many musicians in the past. The lights over the bar were made out of old drum sets, and musicians had left their signatures all over the black surfaces with white ink. The lamps on the walls were made out of old saxophones and glowed in different colors. The hotel also had guitars and amps available for guests to play at their leisure.
When I left the hotel, I decided to visit the Vincent van Gogh Museum. I was able to purchase my ticket at a currency converter, which let me to bypass the huge line for tickets! I had to walk across the Museumplein to get there, which is a huge grassy area where people were lounging about. Also, there was a large wading pool and giant “i amsterdam” sign. Across the Museumplein, I could see the concert building, which hosts around 650 concerts a year that attract up to 840,000 visitors, making it the world’s busiest concert hall. Walking across the Museumplein, I snapped many pictures, but they don’t do any justice to the magnificence of seeing it up close. I finally made my way to the museum after examining all the sights across the Museumplein.
The Vincent van Gogh Museum contains the most paintings by van Gogh in the world, boasting over 200 paintings, 437 drawings, and 31 prints. The museum also provides a historical analysis of van Gogh’s life and inspirations. In case you didn’t know, Vincent van Gogh took up painting in 1860, and his works inspired many artists in the 20th century. Van Gogh struggled with madness, and after admitting himself to an asylum, he shot himself in the chest. Throughout his career, he sold one painting, but his works are much more sought after today! The layout of the museum had me walking through different periods in van Gogh’s life starting with his earliest work on the first floor. As I progressed my way through the building, I viewed how he applied different styles and techniques to his artwork throughout his career.
In addition to van Gogh, the museum also carries artwork from other 19th century artists including impressionists, post-impressionists, van Gogh’s friends, those who inspired him, and those who were inspired by him. The museum consists of two buildings, but I only had enough time to visit the main building. Before I left the museum, I checked out the museum shop on the ground floor and picked up some goodies. As I walked out of the building and went around the back, I found more stores selling shirts with van Gogh artwork on them, so I picked up a couple of those, too. Finally, my journey was complete and I started my long walk across Amsterdam to the train station, where my final destination was Groesbeek for our farewell dinner.