Amsterdam Travel Blog› entry 16 of 26 › view all entries
May 16th, 2007 – by: wanderlass
In the Lonely Planet that I was holding, it mentioned a famous saying that goes: "God created the earth, but the Dutch created Netherlands." Apparently, since a big part of their land is situated less than a meter above to 6 meters under the sea level, they built dikes to protect them from floods (remember the story of "The Leak in the Dike"?). They've also reclaimed much of the land (over 600 sq.mi) from the sea the past 100 years. As we (or I) always have farms and cows and tulips in mind when we think of Netherlands, I never associated them with modern technology and superior civil engineering. The cable car that serves as public transportation is very modern and construction is on going everywhere; roads, bridges and new buildings, within the city and outside. It's truly impressive! Oh, they also have their share of old grand buildings which are quite nice, but not as decorative as the ones in France.
Netherlands is beautiful! I didn't expect it to be. It's different and nice. I really like the colorful darling houses with big rectangular windows along the canals. And ohhhh.. the canals! I love them! Especially in Amsterdam, where there are roads, along side them are the canals. They are beautiful in daylight and look so romantic at night time.
Today we went to see 2 popular museums:
This is their National Museum of Art and History.
I remember starting with the history collection showing many artifacts from the past, but not a trace of the Spainish colonization, he he. I always love to see Chinese influences in different culture, I guess more so on faraway land like here, so I really enjoyed the display of porcelains brought in by Chinese traders and how the Dutch later made replicas when the trading was stopped, complete with the same oriental designs. I also love the 17th century huge doll houses which were hobby of young women of wealthy families in Amsterdam.
Painting is my most favorite form of art. I don't claim to be in the know because I never studied them, not refused to, just never did. When it's pleasing to my eyes, then I like it. A friend and I were discussing one time that maybe it's ok to be 'not in the know', as then we have genuine reactions and emotions. For one would surely be influenced by experts once you studied them, non? So then do you like a painting because every expert says it's perfect and beautiful, or does it move something within you?
VAN GOGH MUSEUM
I always find Van Gogh's paintings interesting.
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