This past week marked my third trip to the capital of being yourself, Amsterdam. This visit was a bit different than the last couple, in the fact that I was traveling with her as opposed to any other dude that I’m friends with. Also, for the first time, I was interested in being a tourist. While Sam, Pat, and I had seen this city many times before, none of us recalled actually knowing anything about the city. So with that, the four of us ventured towards Museumplein, where some of Amsterdam’s rich history resides. After catching glimpses of other museums, the Rijksmuseum and it’s quaint yet vibrant gardens called upon us and we heeded.
As we entered, we were given far too many options and decided to take it on in chronological order. In the 1100s we immediately grouped into pairs, with Sam and Pat venturing ahead while she and I took our time going over every subtle nuance available. We made our way through religious art, both graphic yet simultaneously beautiful and deep. We climbed the steps to the 1600s where beautiful stained glass marked the men who were so integral to the creation of a national museum and the rich art and educational culture of the time. The 17 and 1800s showed us the glories of the Dutch through war paintings, collections of weaponry through the ages and treasure both stolen and earned through battle. Hours passed as we made it from exhibit to exhibit with the only thing that prevented us from continuing our adventure into the 20th century was the closing of the museum.
To this point, my Dutch education merely consisted of pills, strobe lights and walking home at dawn. While a different brand of education altogether, the two seem to harmoniously coincide into a beautiful experience. I suppose it took traveling with a different person or even a different type of person to open my eyes to the many aspects that not only this city, but the world as a whole contain.