With our daughter Susie, who is visiting for a week, we took a 50 minute train ride from Amsterdam to Den Haag. We visited three spots:
1. The Gemeente Museum (Obama had been there the day before talking about the Nuclear Safety Issues!) Due to the renovations of the more popular Mauritshaus Museum, the Gemeente had received 100 of this museum’s famous paintings. Two of our favorites…
a. Rembrandt van Rijn – The anatomy lesson of Dr Nicolaes Tulp
b. Johannes Vermeer – View of Delft
2. Madurodam A huge miniature village which reminded us of legoland except the materials were realistic. A whole outside area was dedicated to Holland’s buildings, streets, canals, you name it… Schipohl Airport even in miniature.
Susie and a Model of The Rijksmuseum
3. Escher in Het Paleis A museum which houses two floors of M.C. Escher’s works in Queen Emma of the Netherland’s winter palace.
What’s a Hofje?
A hofje is a courtyard of homes built by the wealthy to house the poor, the old, the orphans or the widows. They are hidden from the streets behind a canal house door. Once you open a door to a hofje, there is a lush green courtyard inside of peace and quiet.
Hofjes of the Jordaan
1. The Van Brienen Hofje (89 Prinsengracht) is our next door neighbor. A Dutch Baron in the 1700s got himself locked in his own strong room (bank vault). He freaked out and pleaded to God that if he ever got out of this mess he would build a hofje for young catholic couples. In 1797, he bought an old brewery and built this hofje. 2. The Hofje of the Sun “Zonshofje” (159 Pinsengracht) is really close to us too. Before it was a hofje it was a secret, hidden church belonging to the mennonites. In 1755 the church was reconstructed as an orphanage and a hofje for older ladies. 3. The Karthuizer Hofje (Karthuizersstraat 21-131) is the biggest hofje in all of Amsterdam! It opened its doors in 1651 for 110 women some of whom had children. 4. The Claes Claesz Hofje ((Egelantiersgracht 26) is one of two Hofjes on Egelantiersgracht. It was established for older people and built in the mid 1600s. 5. The St. Andrew Hofje (Egelantiersgracht 137-145) is the other more know one on this street. It is the second oldest in Amsterdam finished in 1617.
The Karthuizer Hofje
Emmy’s Packing List for Amsterdam
- I bought my toiletries when I got there
- Working with Celsius instead of Fahrenheit: 30 is hot, 20 is nice, 10 is cold, 0 is ice. To get to F take the C and double it and then add 30… you’re really close…subtract 3 to get more accurate.
- I Used lite nylon packing bags for different clothing categories. For example, all my T-shirts went in one bag. I rolled them instead of folded them. They kept better.
- I xeroxed all my credit and debit cards, front and back along with my drivers license and passport. This turned out to be a Godsend when my wallet was pickpocketed on the tram.
- 4 sweaters
- 4 day shirts
- 4 evening shirts
- 4 athletic/free t-shirts
- 2 running pants
- 2 running bras
- 2 pairs of running socks
- 4 pairs of day pants
- 2 pairs of evening pants
- 1 dress
- One really nice evening outfit
- 1 skirt
- Black boots, brown kicker boots, running sneakers, black flats, black evening heels
- Two Raincoats, one long and one short
- White down jacket
- 10 pairs of underwear
- 2 bras, one dress slip, one skirt slip
- 6 pairs of socks
- 2 pairs of tights, leggings
- PJs… lite night gown, flannel pjs
- Baseball hat, winter hat
- Running/biking gloves
- Travel size toiletries for the first few days
- Contact lens stuff and prescription glasses
- Reading glasses, sunglasses
- Make up
- Scissors, tape
- Electronics and necessary chargers: iPad, camera, iphone, converters, mini ipod for running, earbuds.
- Laptop and charger
- Reading: 1. Paper books 2. Guidebooks and map 3. Download e versions to iPad
- Important Documents. Passport, flight times, wallet with credit cards and cash
- Yellow Backpack.
- Small purse
- Compact-able duffle bag
- Small blanket for meditating
Things to Buy in Amsterdam
- Blow dryer
- Flat iron
- Yoga mat