When I got out of the Van Gogh Museum, the day had gone from almost balmy to freezing. There was a really bitter wind blowing. I was going to walk to another museum on my list a few kilometres away when I realised that the Rijksmuseum was almost right next door. It is a huge museum dedicated to fine arts and history of the Netherlands. It’s one of those museums that ideally needs a couple of days to take in.
Since my Museumkaart gives me unlimited entry, I thought that I might as well pop in, as long as the queue wasn’t too long, do a whirlwind tour, see two very important works, and then decide if I want to devote a whole day to it. The regular queue was super long, but I was able to just walk in with my Museumkaart. There are several entry points within the museum where the card was scanned.
Here’s the famous I amsterdam sign outside the Rijksmuseum:
The museum itself is magnificent.
I did not take any pictures on this go around. To be honest, I should have found some lunch before going in so I was kind of intent on getting in, seeing what I wanted to see, and getting out. I was also rather tired by this point. The museum is a genuine labyrinth. The map and signage aren’t that helpful and no one I asked for directions could help. I joked on Facebook that I needed a search party! I also find that the distribution of the items is in an odd order. You start in the Middle Ages, jump to the 19th century, go back to the 17th century, and then jump ahead again to the 20th century!
There were two paintings I desperately wanted to see and I found them! The first was Vermeer’s The Milkmaid:
The other was Rembrandt’s The Night Watch:
I’m not really a huge fan of either artist, but these are such iconic works!
Admission to the Rijksmuseum is 17.50 euros, so two visits there will already eat into the cost of my Museumkaart! The museum would not have been on my list if I had to pay for my museum entries piecemeal and I’m glad I had a chance to scope it out and decide that it would be worth a day of my time. When I go back, I want to pay particular attention to model ships, pottery, musical instruments, and magic lantern slides. There is also an out of the way Asian exhibit that was spectacular. So expect a much better Rijksmuseum write-up than this one, as long as my clients cooperate. 😉
Speaking of which, I came straight back home to have my leftover curry for a late lunch, write up my Van Gogh blog post, and then do an assignment due this evening. I was done by 6:30 and hungry. There are three Ethiopian restaurants within a one-minute walk of the flat (!!!), so I did some research as to which would be the best, Addis Ababa. Ethiopian is a favourite cuisine of mine and I haven’t had it in five and a half years!
I splurged and requested “an Ethiopian beer” and was brought this wonderfully caramelly nectar of the gods:
I picked the doro wat special, which came with all these sides. The spinach and cheese are what made it special. I normally don’t like cooked spinach, but dang was this stuff tasty! The “cottage cheese” was more like a Bulgarian sirene/non-salty Greek feta. Then, continuing clockwise, you have some spicy red lentils, lettuce and tomato, potato/carrot/cabbage, and non-spicy lentils. When I would eat Ethiopian food in Ottawa, I was still a vegetarian and my dinner would be those four dishes (no spinach or cheese) in larger portions. So these sides were very familiar to me.
I had doro watt in Lethbridge, but it was very different to what I was served tonight. It had been my first time eating an Ethiopian meat dish and was so long ago that I can’t even compare. This was whole drumsticks cooked in a slightly spicy berber sauce. It traditionally comes with hardboiled eggs, but I asked for none of those, of course, and got extra chicken!
I ignored the knife and fork and dug in using the injera (teff pancakes seen above) as scoops. I thought I must have looked like as slob, but I later learned that I looked like I knew what I was doing. The server was surprised that this was not my first, not my fifth, but likely my twentieth to thirtieth time eating this cuisine! What a wonderful end to a truly special day.