Amsterdam all day

Amsterdam is our final port of call for this trip; we reached it this morning just before breakfast, docking just west of Centraal Station.

Our morning excursion took us to the Rijksmuseum, always a highlight of our Amsterdam visits.

The museum was designed by Pierre Cuypers – you can see him peeking around the corner of the top floor if you look carefully.

Every year, the Rijksmuseum has an outdoor exhibition; this year’s exhibition features [Richard Long]9 It’s not all outside – here’s his “Black White Blue Purple Circle”, which is in the entry hall.

Our guide, Shirley, took us through a few of the key works in the museum, explaining them and putting them into context. We spent most of the time in the Gallery of Honour. We were not alone, though; we were in prime visitor territory, and it was hard to get a good look, let alone a good photo, of most of the works.

Rembrandt’s The Night Watch is the first painting you see when you enter the Gallery of Honour. It’s in a huge glass case because it’s being restored (I was afraid it was for protection), so I couldn’t get a decent picture of it.

I was lucky enough to have a few seconds with a clear view of Vermeer’s The Milkmaid and Rembrandt’s first Self Portrait.

I could have spent the entire day in the Rijksmuseum, but we only had a bit under two hours allocated; then it was time for a canal boat tour. We sampled all of the canals before the boat took us back to the ship. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

Diane and I went out for a walk after lunch. We’ve always stayed at the Renaissance Amsterdam Hotel, so we walked over there to see how the neighborhood was doing. I was happy to see a lot of familiar restaurants and shops; the hotel was being renovated, so we didn’t linger. Instead, we walked over to Damrak and then back to Central Station.

Tonight was the final dinner of the cruise, and we wanted a picture with our friends Brenda, Bob, David, and Wendy. We crashed the table that was reserved for Bea Tollman, Uniworld’s owner; after we’d been eating her chicken soup and salad dressing all week, it wouldn’t have been right to exclude her!