Friday, 22 June 2012


On our first full day in Amsterdam we decided to walk towards the Museum District.

So we take the same route as the night before, through the University district

the sun is shining and everything is bright

bikes everywhere

across the Amstel

and down Vijzelstraat to look at the magnificent art deco building that houses the city archives - so gothic.

It is Monday though, and the Stadsarchief are closed so we will have to come another day

some interesting street art further down Vijzelstraat

and some more

the Urban Mushroom Farm and Materials Lab

along Prinsengracht

everything is so tasteful and stylish.

Some nice shops here on Spiegelgracht

still on Spiegelgracht

and you can't miss, avoid, or forget about the bikes

the Rijksmuseum

a house that doesn't quite conform to the prevalent architecture

we can see the American Hotel from here

and now we enter P.C. Hoofstraat, the expensive, commercial street where all the expensive stores are. We very soon get very disappointed because our favourite place for having lunch in this area, 'Pasta di Mamma' has closed down.

Now we reach the Van Gogh Museum, designed by Gerrit Rietveld, and opened in 1973. Even though the temporary exhibition looks really good we decide not to look at any art during this trip

at the back of the Van Gogh Museum is the new wing, designed by Koso Kurokawa. This is an ellipse-shaped building with a sunken pond, connecting with the Reitveld building through an underground passageway. This is where the temporary exhibitions are shown

this is the other side of the 'new' wing, as seen from the Museumplein

and the sunken pool which unfortunately is not a sunken pool anymore. The pool was fantastic - so many reflections on the glass and inside the museum. We were very disappointed a few years ago when we visited and found out that they had siphoned off all the water. The reasons we were given were to do with health and safery and moss growing on the flagstones. Now they have added the pebbles and it is an improvement, but this building was built to have water on one side of it, and anything less, reduces it.

The great excitement is seeing the new wing of the Museum of Modern Art, (the Stedelijk Museum),  which is in the process of being built.

can't wait to see it when it is finished.

We walk through these trees and we are in the middle of the Museumplein. The Museumplein is a large, vast expanse and is very open: there are grassy areas, wooded areas and gravel areas, with sight and light lines where people can meet, relax or stroll.

We are standing in the middle of Museumplein and behind us is the Concertbegouw

facing us is the back of the Rijksmuseum

and a closer look

on our right is the Monument dedicated to those who fought against fascism

and as you step on the platform, there are sound effects and they very haunting

on our left are the backs of the Museum of Modern Art and of the Van Gogh Museum

looking more closely at the new wing of the Museum of Modern Art

and from this angle you can see both wings of the Van Gogh Museum.

This shallow pool is transformed into an ice skaring rink in the winter months. It is the centre for a lot of the activities in the Museumplein

for children

and adults.

Artist and model.

This is a place where everyone is having fun.

As we leave the Museumplein, walking along the Hobbema we do some window shopping

this shop sells interesting glass

as well as Hester Van Eeghen bags and purses

On our way back we stop and have a look at the new Apple store on Leidsestraat and its magnificent glass staircase

a closer look

it is a beautiful building, sensitively restored

The Leidseplein where there is always lots going on

We continue walking up Leidsestraat

Classic Art Deco

Lots of Dutch cheese

You have to look out for the trams

I always stop and have a look at the IIttala shop as I find these glass birds fascinating

here is another one

and two more

and of course, there are canals everywhere

We have now reached Kalverstraat, the main shopping street,  and by the corner with Taksteeg I see this clock I have never noticed before.

A good, first day, and by now it is time to go for a drink and then the hotel for a rest before the evening.


  1. Hi Eirene

    Another interesting post with some nice photos.

    I also want to let you know that I've "nominated" you for the Sunshine Blogger award. I don't know what you think of these blogger awards / memes but as I was nominated I decided to continue the chain and use it as a way of expressing recoginition to some bloggers I enjoy reading. And your blog was an obvious choice.


  2. I was just reading your latest post 'sunshine awards' when I noticed that I had an email, clicked over, and it was your comment on my blog. Perfect timing!

    Thank you for the nomination Mick, it is very kind and generous of you.

    I don't know anything about these awards: there are several blogs I follow, but there is obviously another dimension I am totally unaware of. I will find things out now, though.

    Thank you again, and of course, most importantly, good luck for yourself.

  3. I've never noticed that clock before either