Museumnaacht, and the epic journey home.
Amsterdam Travel Blog› entry 22 of 61 › view all entries
Museumnaacht is an absolutely fantastic idea. 40 museums across Amsterdam open their doors to you, and some very interesting types of performance art, music and activities, until 2am. The ticket cost me about 16€ in advance and entitles you to free transport all night, including on the boats, and one more entrance to one of the museums over the next month. This makes it really good value. The festival makes it very clear that it has a core audience of local people in mind, and so is quite open about not publishing the programme in English. Having said that, the website does offer links to amsterdamweekly.nl which publishes English Language advice, and my Dutch reading has got to the stage where I could make educated guesses about what I wanted to do.
Unfortunately, I was so excited about going out at night that I forgot my camera. Until I figure out how to get this computer to accept my phone's software, then there won't be any photos. I also lost my scarf earlier in the day, which has made me briefly very sad indeed because it was my second favorite scarf ever and it'll be years before I go back to Madrid. But other than that, I was all set.
When I decided where to go, I had two real criteria - I wanted to try molecular cookery snacks at NEMO and I wanted to go to places where I wouldn't normally go. Other than that, there was sinply too much going on to make sane choices. So I went to NEMO first.
This was a poor decision. It hadn't occured to me that the 19.
The I walked to Engergetica, wasting a lot of time getting lost on the way. Energetica is the museum of electric stuff, which normally wouldn't be all that interesting to me, although if you are a Dutch speaker who likes big machines and old lifts (elevators), you'd love it. But on this night, it was home to a DJ and two people in labcoats taking photos of you and then waving flourescent tubes with motion pick ups around to colour you in.
I walked past Hortus and decided that the queues were far too long for me.
I was determined to take the boat, as it was free, but by this point it was 11pm and I was getting quite sleepy. I get sleepy early when I'm out on my own, and I wanted to leave before I was grumpy and miserable, so I had a long debate with myself about where to go next. I'd settled on taking myself to the Rijksmuseum, which is huge but had a chocolate fountain, but was grumbling about it to myself because I'd walked for miles and - well, you get the picture.
The biblical museum is not what I was expecting. I had a sort of snobbish expectation of a diarama of the temple mount (in fairness, there is a model of the temple mount too!) and some old editions of the gospels (um, which there are). But the museum is also host to some contemporary art, currently the winners of a competition-or-something based on the theme of "I am a stranger on Earth." Some of that was gorgeous.
The snow was made of soap bubbles. It was magical. I loved it.
But I was very tired after that, and I wanted to go home whilst I was still happy. And that was the start of the epic journey home. The boats were meant to run every ten minutes, and I had checked with the man on the boat when I got off at the Biblical Museum and he said that that was true til 2am. So I waited for the boat to come back, and it took 35 minutes. It was driven - I refuse to dignify it with a more boat-y term - by the worst waterybus driver in the history of canal boats.
Eventually, having missed the 1.17 train which I could have got if I'd walked from the museum, but having had quite a pleasant canalboat drive even despite the awful driver, we got to centraal station. The awful boat guy let us off the boat by crashing it loudly into the side of the canal and putting the engine in reverse whilst we all jumped off, and I went to shiver in the station until the 2.17 arrived. Luckily, that was only about a 30 minute wait. I'm British - I'm just greatful there was a train at all.
And then the train did a very, very British thing. It stopped. In the middle of nowhere. A little while later it started, got as far as Utrecht Zuillen, and stopped again.
As we got to Utrecht, I noticed that the road between the station and my house had been cordoned off by the police. I had to walk the long way home. Having left the Biblical museum at 12.10 to go home early, I got in at 3.30am. Next time, I'm going to stay out late on purpose - at least then there will have been a point to the exercise! If only they sold Irn Bru in the Netherlands...
The next day was a total wash out. I did a little shopping, complained to myself that my legs hurt, bought myself noodles for tea, and had an early night. I'm still tired.
But it really was an ace weekend, and if you can make it next year, then you definately should. just book a room somewhere!