Greta and I set off for the Van Gogh Museum after lecture this afternoon. We were determined to find out what exactly this Museum Card thing was and hopefully see this Dutch master. Apparently for 39 Euros, or $44 US, the Museum Card, MC, is a free pass into over 400 different museums all over the Netherlands. I am a museum nerd; I love going to them and I love going often. The thing is, however, is that I like to go for only snippets of time, maybe 2 hours here, 3 hours there, and never for a full day. The idea of a full day is too overwhelming and I would be likely to suffer a form of information overload. Fortunately for me I found out that Greta is the same way, so Museum buddies we quickly became.
We decided to take the Tram to the park area called Museumplein. It is called this is because not only is the Van Gogh Museum there but also the Rijksmuseum and Stedelijk Museum and the Concertgebouw. On the Tram Greta was approached by an older Israeli couple, tourists just like ourselves, who were headed to the Van Gogh Museum and needed help finding it. They weren’t sure where they were in relation to the museum. Amsterdam is a very confusing city to tourist because of the narrow roads, long long street names, and canals. Luckily, the Israeli couple asked the perfect people because that’s where we were headed, plus we are “Information Professionals” :) Before our eyes our group of two just doubled into four.
I walked side by side with the woman as we neared the Museumplein, talking to her about my time spent in Israel. I had traveled there for two weeks, going all over the country one summer back in high school. It was nice hearing her talk about what it is like there now, versus my time there over ten years ago. Talking to her made me want to go back. We finally said goodbye to our new Israeli friends and parted ways as we hit the Museumplein, Greta and I going left while they went right. The park center was enormous and there were people setting up for some big festival.
We made our way into the museum and wandered for a few hours inside. Sadly, you are not allowed to take photos. The museum was completely packed and it was hard to see some painting up close, but even still, I was amazed at just what I was seeing. I couldn’t believe I was seeing the real paintings of Van Gogh, paintings I studied while an Undergrad in Art History classes and paintings you see on friends’ living room walls or journals.
A few hours later, once our thirst for Van Gogh was satiated, we made our way to the gift shop and found some little gifts. I ran into the Israeli couple again, saying a quick hello and then we made our way out to the park to decompress. Housed in the east side of the Museumplein was this IAMSTERDAM sign. I knew we had to get some photos of it and with it and off we went…So there you go.