Individual Days - Netherlands

Amsterdam and the Beginning of our Rick Steves Tour

September 10, 2023

Van Gogh Museum

Took an early bus from Haarlem to Amsterdam to visit the Van Gogh Museum. The trains were closed for maintenance for the weekend, so we got to experience another form of transportation.

The Van Gogh Museum was nice. They had a recorded guide that gave background stories and scholarly insights into most of the artwork.

Sunflowers - one of Van Gogh’s most famous paintings
Almond Blossoms - Van Gogh painted this as a gift to his brother and sister-in-law with the arrival of their son, Willem. Willem went on to found the Van Gogh Museum.

Royal Palace

After a quick lunch, we toured the Royal Palace. While it is the official palace, the royal family lives in The Hague. The palace serves as a museum when it isn’t used for state events and hosting dignitaries.

Royal Palace
Citizen’s Hall
Sugar was so valuable that the royal centerpieces were sugar sculptures
Relief tribunal - served as the backdrop for trials and sentencing
In Tribunal - represents original sin

Meeting the Tour Group

At 3 pm, we got to meet our tour guide, Lisa, and the rest of the members of the Rick Steves Best of Europe in 21 Days group. After an orientation, we went on a walking tour of Haarlem.

Our guide, Lisa

Lisa added an unexpected group event to our schedule. After our walk, but before dinner, we stopped at Brinkman’s to enjoy a Generva tasting. The Dutch created Generva, although the English changed the name to Gin when they started distilling it. We tried an “old” and “new” Geneva. Not based on the age of the spirits but rather the distillation process – the old way or the new way. Proost!

Our first meal together at Restaurant Flamboyant – Rijsttafel Dinner, a traditional Indonesian rice dinner with various types of meat served family style. It was good and we got to enjoy the dinner with our tour group.

We walked 9.1 miles today.

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