One aspect of the city which immediately jumps out is the large number of bikes. Figures varied when I researched the actual number, but in this city of 850,000 there are somewhere close to 1,000,000 bikes. So it is no surprise to see Amsterdam listed as one of the top bike friendly cities in the world. Crossing the street in the city requires constant vigilance since many streets have 2 bike lanes, 2 tram lanes and 2 lanes for cars.
Tulips are a crop the Netherlands have long been known for, and following our boat tour we wandered down to the Bloeenmarkt (Flower Market), which is the world's only floating flower market. First established in 1862, the market sells gorgeous tulips, plus a wide variety of flowers, houseplants, gardening supplies and souvenirs. A local cheese shop was our next stop, and we purchased some Gouda, considered the Netherlands most important and best known variety.
Later, we visited the Rembrandt House Museum which focuses primarily on the print making skills of the artist. He created around 300 etchings, and some of his methods are still used in etchings produced today. During our visit we saw demonstrations on how he made the prints and also how his oil paints were made. As a successful artist he tutored a number of young artists, and his students typically made his paints for him.
|Vermeer's The Milkmaid|
The next morning we headed to the airport for our flight to Dublin.
|At the Rijksmuseum|
|Along the canals|
|Narrow houses along the canals have hooks at the upper level|
to allow furniture to be lifted into the building. Houses are narrow but deep
due to taxes based on the property's width.
|At the Van Gogh Museum|
|Early morning rush hour|
|Rembrandt's The Night Watch|
|At Rembrandt Park|
|At the Flower Market|
|Print made during demonstration at Rembrandt House.|
|Lesson on how paints were made in the 1600's|