Coffee shop at a ferry crossing, Amsterdam.
Mais oui, la vie est belle - if a bit hectic. David and I are just back from a lovely trip to Amsterdam, bearing red ribbon-tied keys for our next abode. Alas, our Paris apartment now looks as though a cyclone hit, with things piled everywhere, waiting for the moving company to bring boxes.
In Amsterdam, we went to the Rijksmuseum yet again, where an exhibit of Gabriel Metsu's paintings was the star. I never tire of the Dutch masters and their remarkable use of light, particularly Johannes Vermeer. I could look at his paintings for days. Both The Little Street and The Milkmaid are on display; Girl with a Pearl Earring is at The Mauritshuis Gallery inThe Hague. Oddly, none of Vermeer's paintings are at the museum in Delft, where he lived and worked. Perhaps it's an insurance issue.
One of the Rijksmuseum's most famous attractions is Rembrandt's The Night Watch. A group of schoolchildren, probably 8 or 9 years old, was sitting spellbound on the floor beneath the wall-size painting, as their enthusiastic teacher told them stories about each person depicted in the painting.
The Rijksmuseum also has recent photography acquisitions on display, including abstract architectural images from Man Ray and black-and-white documentary photographs by Robert Frank and other 20th-century greats.
In Holland, we had casual lunches at bistros in Amsterdam and Utrecht. I bought glittery magnolia blooms on sale for half price. We had dinner at an old favourite (where lobster bisque is my standard choice) restaurant in the Museum and Fashion District. The next night, we enjoyed a more festive meal with new friends in a bijoux town. Earlier, we bought an American retro-looking chrome refrigerator, to be delivered the day I arrive to greet the movers.
One afternoon we walked down a cobblestone road to find a ferry crossing flooded, with deep water standing in riverfront property. Only the tops of fenceposts were visible. Later when we mentioned the flooding to Dutch friends - who are used to dealing with wayward water - they shrugged. Apparently such flooding is seasonal and to be expected, as snow melts.
Am looking forward to more intriguing aspects of life in Holland. Now if I could just finish packing...