Larry and I headed out while Dan was still sleeping. We followed a guidebook walk of the Joordan, and then the Nine Streets, moving deeper into the inner canals. The old houses are fascinating, with their differences in gables, decoration, paintwork. We found a few of the old identifying plaques, used before houses had numbers, to identify the occupants by profession or family name. Shops were opening up, and its remarkable how many galleries, strange little shops, and cafes the city can support. Of course, there may be completely different ones next year, if there aren't enough people buying vintage shoes, offbeat toothbrushes, lace clothes, or kitsch artwork.
We picked up Dan and then ran a few errands. Dan wanted to see the Houseboat Museum, which we had passed several times by boat and foot. We once again marvelled at the enormous line in front of the Anne Frank House, and I mentally kicked myself for forgetting to make and print out an online reservation. Dan will be going with his group, but I guess Larry and I will have to wait until a return visit to Amsterdam. Still, it's great that so many people feel its important enough to stand in line for to see.
The Houseboat Museum, although tiny, was interesting to see. The old box beds, and a fun slideshow on living on the water were the highlights of the short visit. We caught a tram and headed into the center, going past Dam Square and Rembrantplein. This area of the city is much busier, with larger buildings and huge squares filled with tourists milling around. I think we'll save it for that repeat visit, hopefully during a quieter and cooler time of year. We got off at Waterloopein, and found a canalside cafe for lunch of decent sandwiches. We were entertained watching cars and trucks trying to park alongside the canal. I wonder how many drivers miscalculate and then need to call for a tow when a wheel slips over the edge?
We went to the Rembrandt House, the house he lived in when he was at the height of his prestige and moneymaking as an artist. It's been beautifully preserved, and attached to a modern space for additional gallery space. Because of a complete listing of household goods from the Rembrandt's bankruptcy, the house has been furnished as if he lived there. We visited the kitchen, living and gallery rooms, etching studio where a demonstration was being given, collection of natural objects used for studies, and his large attic studio, complete with area where pigments were ground and mixed into paint.
More walking around, and then returned home. Dinner was at a neighborhood tapas place that was pretty good.(Spanish tapas seem to be popular here, there's a tapas restaurant every where you turn)