Monday, May 31, 2010

Day 38 - Impasto

First on the agenda today was the Rijksmuseum, in Amsterdam.
It was very nice. We saw some excellent Vermeers including the Milk Maid and the Letter Reader. We also saw one of Rembrandt's most famous works - the Night Watch. It is incredible! I really enjoyed this museum.

During lunch, we went to the Diamond Museum. I wish we had more time there because all the signs were in English and it was very interesting, but we did not have very much time. C'est la vie.

In a room shaped like the inside of a diamond. Pretty awesome.
On the ceiling.
In the center of the room. Yeah, it was pretty cool.

We finished early so we took some pictures by the I amsterdam sign.
Then we went to go find the Van Gogh museum. Only we got lost. Bad news. We ended up circling a huge block only to discover that the museum was very close to where the diamond museum is. Great haha. We ended up only being a little bit late after we booked it there so it was not too bad. We took a bunch of notes on Van Gogh then looked at his works. It was so cool to see the impasto and the choppy brushstrokes up close. An absolutely necessary experience if you want to truly understand his works (Now go tell the Dean that so he won't cut this study abroad!) After we wandered around there, we went upstairs to talk about modern art. It was cool. We saw Monet, Seurat, and more.

Then several of us went to the Blooming market, which is the flower market in Amsterdam. It was so fun. I was able to take lots of pictures there to make up for the lack of pictures from the museums.

I wanted to bring home tulip bulbs so bad but I'm pretty sure that customs would not allow that!

It is Amsterdam after all...
Then we wandered around for a bit, making sure to skirt the center of the city. We went into a couple souvenir shops and finally found Dutch flags! Hooray! The collection is almost complete. Then we headed back to the hotel and chilled for a bit. We watched the last half of what I think was Duplicity. It did not make any sense. Then I went back to my room and packed for Belgium.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Day 37 - Singing in Dutch

Church was in the Hague today so we headed back there on the train. After the train, we had to take a tram to get us to the area where the church building is located. Then we went to church. Relief Society was first and it was a combined lesson. They had headphones for us so that we could have English translation. Then off to Sunday School, which was in English. We talked about respecting God above all else. Then Sacrament meeting had four speakers, three of which were from England so they spoke in English. It was nice. What was really cool is that we got to sing in Dutch! It was quite a lot of fun :)

After church, guess what happened? They had a potluck! We are very lucky people to have had so many wards feed us. There was tons of food and it was all quite tasty. It was nice to not have to worry about finding food for lunch. After we cleared our plates, we got back on the train and stopped in Leiden. While there, we went to the windmill museum. It was so awesome, but a little bit scary! I loved it and took tons of pictures :)

The ladders kept going up and up and up and kept getting steeper. We were very high up from the ground!


It was pretty awesome!
It started raining shortly thereafter so we came back to the hotel and relaxed for a while. It was nice. And while I was away, my new nephew was born! Hooray! I have been talking about him for days and now he is finally born! His name is Oakley and I am so excited to see him! I went to use the internet at the hotel's computer to see pictures. It isn't cheap, but I really want to just have 10 minutes or so to see how it all went. Well, the lady before me paid for an hour, but only used half an hour and she let me use the rest! So that was most excellent. Unfortunately, there were only 2 pictures of him. That's okay though; I know all went well and I will see his cute little face in three weeks!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Day 36 - Den Haag

We went to the Hague today. Interesting... :)

Medieval part of town.

Series of "Wonders of Europe" pictures. Very lovely :)

First museum we went to was the Bredius Museum. It was a nice one.

I wrote on this work for my freewrite after Martha's lecture.

After we finished our freewrites, Elisabeth, Tabitha, and I went and ate lunch. We sat on benches that were next to the Wonders of Europe pictures.

Then off to the next museum, which was the Mauritshuis.
This museum did not allow pictures, unfortunately. We saw many Rembrandts and Vermeers, including the Girl with a Pearl Earring. It is really exquisite. The tonal modeling of her face is really beautiful. It was great.

After the museum, Elisabeth, Claire, Tabitha, and I headed to the forest. We wandered through it for a while, trying to find the palace of the queen, but we never saw it. But it was quite a pleasant walk.

It started to rain while we were in the woods, so we ran back to the train station to get back to Schipol. We had to get dinner so we went to an inexpensive cafe there. I had some really delicious tomato soup. After we got our receipt, we paid then left, without taking the slip of paper. The waiter, who had been making eyes at our table all the while we were there, stopped us and told us that we forgot our receipt. We said that we were fine, that we didn't need it. But then he awkwardly told us that he wrote on it, then he handed it to us.
Boys are so silly. Gotta love 'em. After that, we caught the bus back to the hotel and watched Confessions of a Shopaholic on the film channel. Another successful day :)