Friday, 22 February 2008
Yesterday I decided to stop killing time in pubs and wandering the streets, and to do some proper sightseeing.
The Rijksmuseum is still closed, just like last time I was here. That’s a blessing really. It’s a huge building, full of rooms and rooms of Delft porcelain: mazelike and impossible to comprehend. But they’ve shifted the main bits of the collection into a side building, twelve rooms with a sensible number of artifacts, including some Vermeers and Rembrandts. The Night Watch is in the last room. But my favourite thing is the rear of a ship that the Dutch captured when they raided a naval base at Chatham in 1667.
Then the Van Gogh museum. Most of his paintings are here. They’re beautiful, but the exhibition is rather sad. His paintings become a bit scary towards the end. Upstairs there’s an exhibition of envelopes and menus scrawled on by the artist.
Then back to my quiet wifi-equipped cafe to upload some photos. It was Friday afternoon, and the cafe was full of drunken Mancunians singing Sweet Caroline (da-da-da!). Over here for the weekend, of course. And this morning, the streets are full of groups of young men, quieter and more dehydrated than they were last night, but no doubt up for a huge Saturday night tonight.
As for me, I’m taking it easy today. I’m travelling to Paris by train tomorrow, and that’s when the heavy-duty tourism begins. I’m gonna need my strength.