Monday May 5 -- Liberation Day, Amsterdam
We had a very late start to the day today but we were in no hurry. Today was to be a museum day, however, we began by walking to the War Memorial on Dam Square. We had watched the ceremony on TV and wanted to see the wreathes and flowers at the Memorial. We walked to the Square where many people had similar thoughts and were gathered to look at the flowers and wreaths from the ceremony yesterday.
We still had our City Sightseeing pass for most of the day so we were able to hop back on the bus to get off at the Rijksmuseum. The museum was busy but not too crowded and we spent the good part of three hours viewing selected areas of the museum, especially the paintings by Van Goch, Goya, Rembrandt and Vermeer as well as other Dutch artists, stopping only once for a cup of coffee and a brief sit-down.
Among the more famous paintings housed at the museum are "The Night Watch" by Rembrandt and "The Milkmaid" by Vermeer as well as an enormous painting of the "The Battle of Waterloo" by Jan Willem Pieneman. It is a trifle overwhelming to see so many famous works of art, but it was a very interesting few hours.
Our next stop was intended to be the Botanical Gardens, but the view from the bus did not inspire us to get off. We stayed on until it stopped near Rembrandt Square. Here we walked around, took a picture of a multi-unit series of bronze statues replicating the people in "The Night Watch". We then sat in the sun in a street-side cafe and watched the world go by while we consumed a Heineken.
We slowly wandered to the hotel -- window shopping and stopping in a couple of art galleries along some streets that we had not visited before.
Our evening meal was in another small Italian restaurant a few blocks from the hotel.