Galleons and Dutch Masters
Trip Start Aug 18, 2011
45Trip End Jul 02, 2012
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
Sunday, September 11 was a rather odd day for me, because I'm so far away during such an emotional anniversary in the US. I watched a lot of the ceremony in New York City that day. It was nice to see the US come together, after being so torn apart for the last decade.
Monday through Wednesday (9-12 to 9-14) were spent going to classes or studying.
With some great sunny weather, I spent the day on Thursday (9-15) taking pictures of the city
Afterwards, I went to the southwest of the city center to check out an iconic spot, the intersection of the Princengracht (Prince's Canal) and Leidsegracht (Leidse Canal). I got some good pictures of the area, with the canal bridges, canals, and canal houses.
I had class that afternoon, and on the bike ride back with my roommate, we passed by a large procession of horse carriages. I'm not sure what it was for, but it was neat to see.
Friday (9-16) through the weekend were fraught with problems. Friday was our last day to drop classes, and I needed to drop an extra class I don't need. The program online told me I couldn't drop it, so I went to my Faculty to find out they were closed on Fridays. The Student Information Center didn't know what to do, but told me to go to another Faculty. The Faculty I went to said they couldn't help. My grades are very important to me, so the possibility of this messing up my transcript made me very frustrated, to say the least
Saturday (9-16) was uneventful.
Sunday (9-17) was the day of the Dam to Dam Run. It's a 10 mile run from Amsterdam to Zaandam to the north. I was set to run a shorter 4 mile version in Zaandam that morning. I got up excited, because I'd been running all summer to get ready for the event. I set off for Amsterdam Centraal Station to catch the train to Zaandam. Google Maps told me It would take 55 minutes to get there. I left an hour and a half before the race to be sure I got there on time. The train was late. I ran 2 km from the train station in Zaandam to the start line to try to get there on time, but by the time I got there it was too late. I was really disappointed, but there's no use in dwelling on things I can't control. I will never rely on Google Maps for times again, though.
Monday (9-17) was a pretty bad day. I not going to sugarcoat it. I woke up with plans to go to talk to my Faculty about dropping my one class and to talk to the people at ING Bank about why I hadn't received my debit card in the mail yet
On my next errand to ING, I found out my address had been put in their system wrong, so my debit card was sent to 141 instead of 147. I guess the Dutch write their sevens with a line through them, so the seven I wrote was taken as a one even through the one and seven I wrote in my address looked completely different(?). This wasn't that big of a deal until I realized my Mom writes her numbers the same way and she had just put a package full of my winter clothes in the mail
I've been to their office three times to try to get my debit card sent to me, to no avail. I won't go into details, because it doesn't really matter. They have told me to come back so many times, though, and the last time the man who waited on me was very rude, so needless to say, I don't care for ING Bank.
The rest of the week was uneventful until Friday (9-23) when I decided to check out the Rembrandt House Museum and the Hermitage Museum.
The Rembrandt House Museum was by far my favorite museum of those I've visited. It was truly powerful to be in the place where such a renowned artist lived and completed many of his works. My Humanities class last semester proved to have taught me well - I already new that Rembrandt had gone bankrupt towards the end of his life and lost his home. That said, Rembrandt's furnishings were auctioned off by his creditors, but many of the original paintings, etchings, and replicas of the furniture and decorations were restored thanks to a detailed list written at the time of the auctioning. Because he was such a well paid artist, he had a very nice home, as you can see from my pictures. In the kitchen, I was shocked to see the maids bed was in a box about 5 feet by 5 feet. The Dutch are very tall people, so I imagine it was very uncomfortable for the maid.
I was able to see two demonstrations, one of how etchings were done and the other of how paints were mixed at the time
Afterwards I went to the Hermitage Museum. It's the largest dependency of the Hermitage Museum based in Saint Petersburg, Russia. It's housed in a former retirement home that was built in 1682, called the Amstelhof. Unfortunately, pictures were prohibited in the museum. It was also under renovations, so only one exhibit was open. It had works by Flemish painters such as Rubens, Van Dyck, and Jordaens. Many were portraits of kings and queens from England and Spain, portraits of noble people and some landscapes and still lifes. Most dated from the 17th century, during the time of the Dutch Golden Age.
One thing I've learned this week twice, from my Amsterdam in the Golden Age class and the museum, is that Antwerp in Flanders was originally the most important port in Europe in the first part of the 17th century. Amsterdam eclipsed it in trade after the Low Countries (Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands) went to war with the Spanish king, who ruled the region at the time
The Hermitage was very neat to see, though. My favorite painting was Concert of Birds by Frans Snyders (number 24 on the link).
Tomorrow I'm going to a national park to the southeast called Hoge Veluwe and then to the Kröller Müller Museum, a modern art museum. It's supposed to be a nice day, so it will be perfect for the park. It'll be the farthest I've traveled out of Amsterdam yet, so I'm really excited!