Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Van Gogh and NEMO

One of my highlights for our whole trip so far has to be the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam. This was mainly due to the wonderful experience that it was but also due to the fact that James took the kids on to the interactive Science museum and I got to look around the Art Gallery on my own - bliss.

I loved this wonderful space fill to overflowing of all Van Gogh 's great works plus some of his lesser known ones. It was quite an amazing feeling to be standing right In front of such famous pieces of art works. Here are some photos of a few of my favourites.

I loved seeing the development and change of his techniques as he experimented with different styles and as he became more confident. He did several copies of other artists work and I though it was interesting that the originals became well known in the end because Van Gogh had copied them!

After a wander around the lovely museum gift store I jumped on the tram headed for the NEMO science museum. It was an open day for the Museum so it was packed fill of excited kids and adults touching everything and having a go. It was a bit of a change from the quiet contemplating environment of Van Gogh. I managed to find everyone else in the cafe up on the roof top enjoying the sunshine and some snacks. Hannah was struggling a bit in such a busy environment so her and I wandered around looking at everything. She was especially taken with the ball tubes which involved measuring the weight of the balls and putting them in the correct order. Hannah didn't really worry about this and just put them in randomly - much to the annoyance of some of the other kids who were wanting to do it just right!

Penelope having fun making dirty water into fresh water!

An interactive computer farm board.

We decided that the noise and chaos was getting a bit much for us so decided to go have lunch. On the way we got distracted by some science exhibitions outside NEMO where the children got to use a platform designed to help people with Parkinson's disease learn to drive again, make putty and use goggles to help get the ball in the basket.

The kids all loved having a go at different things and it wasn't nearly as bus as NEMO.

We carried on in search of lunch and found a little kebab house that did hot chips with mayonnaise - yum. We had inadvertently wandered into the red light district so made a quick exit down a side street and the kids were none the wiser!

We made our way to Dam square and caught the end of a busker actbut the highlight for the kids was the man feeding the pigeons. Jasper, Tobi, Ellen and Hannah were very happy to fee the birds and have them sitting on their heads and arms - Zac and Penelope not so much!

Last place I wanted to visit was the flower market. Unfortunately there were no flowers in bloom as its the wrong season and they had wonderful bulbs but as I can't send them or take them home to New Zealand I just had to be satisfied with looking.

We decided to head to Anna and Malcolm's for a coffee as they were staying nearby. They were in a traditional inner city Dutch apartment - steep stairs, small rooms but right in the hub of everything - a great location! We then went and collected our bags from our apartment and headed to Wagamama's by the train station for a quick dinner.

Some Dutch bikes - the front compartment is used for carrying children or goods.

Waiting for our food at Wagamama's.

We said our farewells to Anna and Malcolm and the boys then headed for the airport and home. Another great adventure - thanks Anna and Malcolm for suggesting we rendezvous in such a great place!

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