Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh and Nynke

Oh, how I wish I could have put you all in my pocket while we toured the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. This pic is of my DH outside the entrance (The arbor reminded me of a rather naughty scene set in a grape arbor that I wrote into my novella in IMPROPER GENTLEMEN, due out July 2011. )

The Rijksmuseum is a glorious art collection that features the Dutch masters from Holland’s golden age. In the 17th century, the Netherlands, along with England and Spain, was one of the world’s superpowers and their art certainly reflects that. I saw so many Rembrandt canvases as well as 3 Vermeers. (Since there are only 34 known canvases attributed to this Dutch genius in the entire world, I felt doubly blessed to have seen these. And there is also a Boston connection with Vermeer since one of his works was stolen from the Isabella Gardner Musueum here in the 1990’s. The painting has never surfaced since then.)

After the Rijksmusuem, we visited the Van Gogh Museum. I will not try to explain how the Dutch pronounce his name, but it is nothing like our American “VAN-GO” and involves a sort of throat clearing sound that completely evades me. Surprisingly, I wouldn’t have recognized his early works. Though his productive period only lasted 10years his style changed dramatically. The later works from the time when he was in an asylum are rife with tortured emotion. The man was clearly in agony.

On Saturday, we took the train to Utrect and met up with Nynke, her boyfriend Asbjorn and her sister Alfke. After being online friends for several years, it was lovely to meet Nynke in real life. We had a delightful lunch and walking tour around Utrecht with them. It’s a charming university town.

We visited the Domkerk (also known as St. Maarten’s Cathedral) and saw the tallest church tower in the Netherlands, rising to a height of 368 feet. Part of the cathdral collapsed in the 1600’s during a rare hurricane that ravaged the area. Amazingly the tower survived. We also encountered a Dutch celebration leading up to the coming of Saint Nicholas, which I’ll tell you about in early December.

We had a wonderful trip. I’m still exhausted and I seriously need to get back to my writing schedule, but this journey to the Netherlands was an incredible gift. I’m almost too tired to think still. Grateful is the only word that comes to mind.

After you travel, how long does it take you to get back into your normal routine?

12 thoughts on “Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh and Nynke

  1. Nynke says:

    LOL – Marcy, I#39;m not offended; I#39;m too grown up for that at 31 ;). I guess I won#39;t be able to trick people into believing I#39;m a student much longer, but it#39;s been fun while it lasted.br /br /Mia, I didn#39;t mean *too* short – just shorter than your average Dutch lady. And I think you looked really good! So glad you#39;re doing well and full of energy, too :).

  2. Carol L. says:

    What a great trip. Love the pics.I#39;m always truly amazed at the buildings that were built hundreds of years ago and most still standing. They had nothing in the way of our machinery etc and it#39;s mind boggling.truly gifted builders, engineers and architects.Thanks for sharing Emily.br /Carol L.br /Lucky4750@aol.com

  3. MiaMarlowe says:

    Marcy–Yes, that#39;s Nynke and Asbjorn. She is young and pretty, isn#39;t she? She said I was just as she imagined except I was tiny (her nice word for too short!)

  4. MiaMarlowe says:

    Anne–Part of the reason I feel this way is because last summer I was diagnosed with a condition that cut my lung function down to 50%. I#39;m back to normal now and without the high dose steroids I#39;ve been on this trip would not have been possible. Instead of huffing and puffing and wearing out, I was ready to go all day. That was my real gift.

  5. MiaMarlowe says:

    Jane–I#39;m still ready to go to sleep at @ 7pm and up at 3AM. Definitely still on another clock.

  6. Marcy W says:

    Welcome home, Mia and your DH, glad you#39;re safely back on this side of the pond. I have to ask, is that picture of Nynke and her boyfriend?? I guess it must be — and I hope this won#39;t offend Nynke — but I#39;d pictured her as older. Isn#39;t it funny how we get images in our minds of people we#39;ve never met?! She and her cutie make a sweet couple, and I#39;m so glad you got to meet. br /Sounds as though you might just be art-ed out, at least for a few weeks … what riches!! :-)br /I#39;m eager to hear about the Dutch St Niklaus tradtions, to see how close they are to the German ones I enjoyed as a kid … Clearly this trip will be giving us all fun for weeks to come! Sharing is such a joy . . .

  7. Ann Best says:

    You say the trip was an incredible gift. This is apparent by the wonderful pictures you posted!! And now you have such grand memories!!!br /a href=”http://annbest-jen.blogspot.com/” rel=”nofollow”iAnn/i/a

  8. Jane says:

    It takes me a few days to get back into my normal routine. I feel exhausted even after a short flight.

  9. MiaMarlowe says:

    Nynke–I know the Dutch are pretty liberal, but I think you#39;re right. That would have been pushing the limits.

  10. Nynke says:

    LOL – climbing on top of a church and then getting topless would probably have got you arrested even in Holland. And it would have been so cold!br /br /Good luck with getting back on schedule!

  11. MiaMarlowe says:

    LOL, Theresa! I hadn#39;t considered that connection. No, I have to wait till I#39;m on the French side of St. Maarten where it#39;s ok to go topless before my moment of truth arrives. Of course, we don#39;t have any concrete plans to make that trip yet, so I feel relatively safe at the moment. br /br /Today is definitely dedicated to the laundry. I#39;m also re-reading my WIP from the beginning to get back into the flow of the story.

  12. Theresa Romain says:

    Hi Mia — welcome home! What an amazing trip, to get to see such wonderful things and also meet a longtime friend in person. Did you consider fudging Personal Bucket List #9 when you visited St. Maarten#39;s Cathedral? :)br /br /It usually takes me a couple of days to get back to normal after I travel. The first day is for un-jet-lagging, laundry, and grocery shopping. The next day, maybe I can get work done again. Hope you have a good week!

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