Day 16 – Van Gogh Museum and Rijstaffel

This is our final day in Amsterdam. We pre-booked a tour of the Van Gogh Museum, which we regret. The guide was okay but the museum itself was disappointing. It is located in Museum Square, close to the Rijksmuseum. Other than some of his early self-portraits and the famous Sunflowers, most of his best-known paintings are either in other museums or in private collections. So, no Starry Night, no Water Lilies (although there was an earlier one on exhibit). For €192, skip this. You can just get an entry ticket for much less and rent headphones for €3.95 and get the same information. FYI…

On the way to the museum, with our trusty phones being used as navigation (as was everyone!), I tripped and fell. Fortunately, there wasn’t any significant damage but I must have bruised my ribs on the left side of my chest. I didn’t feel anything at all until later that night. There isn’t much you can do about ribs anyway, so I will just grin and bear it. Walking, sitting, or most activities (including eating) are not affected, so far).

After many recommendations from friends near and far, we made a reservation at an Indonesian restaurant for their famous rijstaffel. After either a soup or small appetizer skewers of meat, the dinner is a selection of small plates of food, both meat and vegetarian, that are part of a huge dinner. We had at least ten courses, most of which were unpronounceable and/or unrecognizable. The flavors were very mixed, from sweet and sour cucumber to a barbecued something.

The best part was that we shared it with our friends from Ajijic, Bobbi and David Sherer, who landed from their cruise that morning. We planned this months ago. It was fun to catch up on their travels and ours. And, they still have weeks to go traveling all around the Mediterranean.

While on the cruise, Bobbi wasn’t feeling well, so David went to the ship restaurant and was seated with a couple. As they talked and David asked them where they are from, they said that they live in a little town in Mexico, south of Guadalajara. David played dumb and kept asking questions, without divulging that he also lives in Ajijic. He finally had to tell them and everyone laughed. What a coincidence!

It was now time to return to the hotel to pack up for our morning flight to Madrid, where we pick up our non-stop flight to Guadalajara. Only having a carry-on bag and an under seat bag, we did fret a bit about weight but so far, when we checked in at every airport, our bags were never weighed. Of course, the one place that may weigh your bag could be the one that says we are overweight. So, we pack accordingly, as if we would be weighed.

I spent the afternoon shopping at Primark, a department store that has locations throughout Europe. The one in Madrid is six stories tall with a central courtyard that fills the store with light. You can’t imagine what they have. The one in Amsterdam is only four stories tall but still full of merchandise that is so inexpensive and fun, you can’t resist.

After a fun time shopping, I decided to leave a number of items at the hotel to be replaced with the new items I purchased. I hope someone can use them. (That was in my mind before we left on the holiday.)

Tomorrow, we will walk the 20 minutes to the Centraal Train Station to go to the airport. By the way, when we arrived, we didn’t know how far we were from the hotel, so we took a taxi. Big mistake! It was €33 for the 7-minute ride. Lesson learned.

We are ready to go home…

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