Day 13 - Rijksmuseum

just a young gun with a quick fuse
I was uptight, wanna let loose
I was dreaming of bigger things
and wanna leave my own life behind
not a yes sir, not a follower
fit the box, fit the mold
have a seat in the foyer, take a number
I was lightning before the thunder

Thunder - Imagine Dragons

Imagine Dragons's Thunder was the last song that I added into my playlist. I also found it by chance in YouTube. I think the video was released a few days before I went for my trip. For a song that talks about being a lightning instead of thunder, the thunder part is actually emphasized more. I don't know if I am what the song says completely. I do feel like sometime I don't fit the box or the mold. I often feel like I'm never part of the "in" crowd. Never when I was growing up, never now. If I am with any crowd, I often feel like I'm at the side, not really in the center of thing. I like to describe myself as on the fringe of mainstream. I want to say I'm not a follower, but life needs you to be a follower sometime or often times. Basically what I want to say is, I feel the song, but I don't know if I'm as cool as that lightning before the thunder.

Day 13 was the last day of my trip. Phew, I can stop writing in this blog :) Sorry guys, this just takes too much effort for the lazy me, but I promise I'll write at least once a month. Day 13 was a Tuesday, I took it easy that morning. I was to leave that night so I made sure that I allowed myself to wake up later that day and take as much time as I need to pack my luggage and check out from my room. All in all, I think I only set out after 10:30 AM. The last thing on the list was to visit Rijksmuseum. I had bought the ticket online, so I didn't have to queue. The ticket also didn't specify a time slot, so I didn't have to rush. Getting there was easy peasy since I had googled about the tram. I didn't get the audio guide because you can download the guide app and the museum has wifi. The app is free so do this peeps instead of paying 5 euro in the museum.

My expectation of Rijksmuseum before going there was that it would be like The Louvre or New York's Met, in which it houses many different objects, not just paintings. It indeed does, but the good news is it's not as massive as those museums. This is good news for you guys who have short attention span, don't like walking too much, and get bored easily in an art museum. I always say smaller museums have their merits too, for one you don't get overwhelmed. By the way the museum's layout can be quite confusing. When I first arrived I got so confused that I made a turn that led me to the male toilet *yikes!!!* You need to have your ticket with you at all times because at many parts, there are staff who will need to scan them. You need to store your backpack if you bring any, but photography is allowed. Unfortunately my bad photography skill (can I even call it a skill actually) didn't manage to capture the many interesting things well. I'm going to post some here.

I was expecting some art works regarding Indonesia or about the Dutch colonization time in Indonesia. There were a few items, but honestly I was expecting more. Well perhaps they're in other museums like the Tropenmuseum that I didn't visit. Some of the Indonesians related items there include a portrait of Raden Saleh painted by another painter, the portraits of the governor generals of the Dutch East India Company (VOC), some keris, and replica of VOC ships. Below are paintings of five Javanese Court Officials.

The museum's collections cover many things like ceramic, musical instruments, sculptures, coins, modern arts, and many more. Of course there are paintings and of course most of them are by Dutch artists. There's one self-portrait by Van Gogh and in the same room there's this painting The Singel Bridge at the Paleisstraat in Amsterdam by George Hendrik Breitner.

The main attraction of the museum is of course Rembrandt's The Night Watch. Recently I completed Sense8 season 2 and this painting and the museum were featured in it. It made me think if they closed the museum for awhile to shoot the scenes because there's no way on earth The Night Watch gallery is that quiet that you can get a somewhat exclusive look of it. I love the scenes though because they brought memories of my visit there. I also learned something new from Sense8 regarding this painting, in which it was not well received initially and some part of it was actually cut off. This photo below is not all of it. I cannot take all of it because there were just too many people around it.

The gallery that houses this painting opens up to a hall that houses many other beautiful paintings, including Rembrandt's The Jewish Bride which I heard Van Gogh really liked. This area of the museum is definitely the most crowded one. If you're like me, you just want to get away to a quiet place which I did by retreating to the sculpture gallery behind The Night Watch. When I entered, there's only 1 person sketching inside it. Another quiet place is the Cuypers Library. Well it's quiet because it's a library. It looks quite beautiful with its staircase. I don't know how to get to the bottom floor and I also don't know if it's open for tourists.

One of the nice thing about going to museums is finding unexpected things. For example, Rijksmuseum has doll houses and this picture below is from one of the room in a doll's house. The doll's houses are super interesting. I love the details that people put into this. The thing is I have never seen the little dolls that supposed to be in these houses. So whenever I see these kind of old antique doll houses, they're always well furnished, but empty :(

By the way talking about quiet spaces in the museum, well the top floor was only visited by a few people when I went up. The top floor has a more modern art kind of works. There's even a plane here. You can see the picture in my Flickr album.


After I was done exploring the top floor, I thought I was done with the museum but then I saw in the map that they have an Asian wing. So I made my way there. What are Asian arts? Somehow when you go to these kind of museums in the western world, the collections are mostly of Buddha statues and such. So that's pretty much what I found. The Asian wing is not very big and it also had few visitors when I was there.

Overall I think I might have spent less time there than I was in Van Gogh museum. For pictures of some of the collections you can go here. It took me some time to google all the titles and artists. The museum web itself put up their collection online just like Van Gogh museum and many other museums. I love that museums are doing this. You can learn more about the works and download the pictures if you like. Anyways, outside the museum, you find the I Amsterdam lettering that people like to pose with. It's super crowded that I don't know how you can get a nice picture with the full lettering.

When I finished, I think it's 3 PM something. My first priority was getting lunch. I did have another plan to visit one of the canal house museum, Willet-Holthuysen, but with the timing I had I decided not to. To be safe, I felt like I needed to leave Amsterdam for the airport by around 6 PM. That canal house museum is not free and if I was going to be rushed when visiting it, I just didn't think it's worth it. I opted to visit Amsterdam Begijnhof instead since it's free. Remember I wrote about Begijnhof when I visited Bruges. Anyways I didn't know exactly where the Amsterdam Begijnhof entrance is, but somehow I found it without any difficulty. As far as I know there are 2 entrances to the compound. It's a small entrance so look carefully, you may miss it. Unlike Bruges Begijnhof, the Amsterdam Begijnhof is now a housing compound. People actually live in them and there's barriers to stop you from entering if you're not a resident and there's also signs to not take photographs, but I took anyway. I just made sure not to take one of the residents, like there was one lady who was sitting in her garden. Again as I wrote before, living in this kind of place where tourists will just walk around will be a horror for me. The compound is nice, but I definitely like Bruges Begijnhof more than Amsterdam Begijnhof.

After that, I made my way to Central Station. I still had some time, so I walked around the canals near to where my hotel was located. I didn't walk too far because it may take too long to go back. Took some pictures, though perhaps these are not the most beautiful canal areas in Amsterdam.

I also walked around the blocks to my hotel and found a shop that I think sells weed. It's not something that I looked for when I was in Amsterdam and I was quite surprised there's one near where I was staying. By right these shops should be everywhere, but since I wasn't looking I guess that's why I haven't been spotting them. It's nice to finally spot one. It's kinda funny too to see these kids crowding it. I didn't go inside though, so I didn't know what it's like and with the kids around looking at the display, I also didn't go to the window and see what's on display.

Then I collected my bag and went to Central Station to get on the train to the airport. The last picture of Amsterdam that I took is of Central Station. You can find it and many other pictures from Amsterdam here. In Central Station, I was confused on finding the platform from the board that I ended up asking the staff in Information. Upon reaching the platform, there's still uneasiness if it's the correct train. It's not just me, many other tourists were like wondering too and asking each others. We just hoped for the best I guess, luckily we're all right. The train ride to the airport is not very comfortable because there's a lot of people and luggages. Luckily I was among the first to enter the train when it was still quite empty and I got to sit by the door. As the train waited to depart, more people came in and it became harder to navigate between people and luggages. So I suggest just make sure you're one of the first people to enter the train when it arrives. If not and if you have the time, just wait for the next train. Did I already tell you about my flight back? It was good because in my side row there's only me. So I got the whole 3 seats for myself and I could get some sleep. Some last words to end this post, there's a lot of things that I didn't see or do in Amsterdam, like visiting Anne Frank House for example. However I have to say that my curiosity of the city was satisfied and I got to visit 2 places which I really wanted, Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum. So I'm all good :) At the end, really I'm just thankful (still am) that God (yet again) helped me through another adventure. I really couldn't do it without Him :)

:) eKa @ 8:25:00 PM •

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