Like a lot of Amsterdam, the Rijksmuseum seems to be closed for renovation this time of the year, however, one wing is currently open, and the most important works have been moved there for display.
The existing display, while small, was fascinating and easily filled a half of my day.
A nice thing to mention is the clock standing in one of the hallways that looks like a coffin with a person inside which is constantly erasing and drawing the clock hands with a white-board marker on a semi-transparent glass. It was interesting to see the crowd`s reaction to it, people were constantly knocking on the wood wondering if there is a real person inside.
I woke up early and pretty much got to the museum first, right at the opening hour. As the hours passed however, a large crowd came in consisting of people of all ages including young people and even children escorted by their teachers, doing what seems to be homework about the various works of art. This was fascinating to note considering this is a “dull” classic arts museum.
The Heineken Experience
As I walked in to the “Heineken Experience” building, it was obvious I came to a really different place then the Rjiksmuseum I just been to, for once, the staff behind the counters was notably younger then the people at the Rjiksmuseum, and they insisted on being nice and friendly, The pretty blond girl at the entrance almost danced as she asked me where I was from and brought me the appropriate tour brochure.
There are many nice things to do at the “Heineken Experience”, you can read and watch video presentations about the history of the company, you can take your own picture at various interesting places and poses, you can listen to a lecture about the way beer is made delivered by one of the place`s young and jumpy staff, you can “experience” being made into beer by watching a simulation movie while standing on a moving platform and you can sit back at one of the multimedia couches to watch all the Heineken commercials ever made.
At the end on the tour, you get to a large pub-like area where you can spend the two buttons connected to a bracelet you were handed at the entrance to get two free beers.
The one problem with all this for me was that eventually I found myself in a room full of people having beer on my own, this is the first but not last point on this trip that I found myself missing home.
Tour Through the Red-Light District
Since I didn’t know exactly what to expect of the Red-Light district, I was afraid to go there alone, eventually I decided to take the advice of one of the brochures I found in the hotel lobby and take the tour provided by the “New Europe” company.
To say the tour was fantastic will be an understatement, Joe, the tour guide was an absolutely awesome Australian full of knowledge and funny stories and the group consisted mostly of friendly young Australians and Americans.
I must say, that going through the district, I was not that impressed with the girls in the windows, walking through the city, I’ve seen much more attractive tourist girls.
One thing that hampered the tour for me a little was seeing the seemingly foolish and violent groups of teenage boys walking around the district with the look in their eyes that says they probably never seen a woman in a bikini before.
At the end of the tour we were offered by the guide to join him for a drink at once of the pubs, most of the group came along, ergo, I had some nice company with which I could have my dinner.