Monday, March 14, 2011

Madrid, Amsterdam and London

The last 10 days have been a mad dash across Europe with little time in any one place and consequently no time to post anything. I did however take some pictures though the Madrid section is courtesy of Lucia as I had zero free time there.
I'll be back in Madrid in a couple of weeks and know I'll get a chance to get some pictures. I'll give a bit of narrative then as well.
The Rijksmuseum (National Museum) in Amsterdam was founded in 1880 and houses the nation's collections of old masters most notably from the Dutch Golden Age.
Think Rembrandt and Vermeer...
As you can see I broke one of the "Golden Rules" and took a photo.
The Museum seems to be constantly under renovation and over the 15 years or so that I've visited the city its never been fully open.
Amsterdam is a city of canals, Art and Boho lifestyles.
Ladies of the Windows, sex shops and "Coffee Houses" which sell something strong to smoke with your skinny latte attract wastrels from around the globe. The global war on cigarettes has taken a surreal turn in AMS: If you mix tobacco with your legally purchased pot or hash, you've gotta go outside.
Smoking your genetically modified herb (the strongest available anywhere) "straight up" inside is A-OK.
Folks huddled in the rain smoking ciggies are smugly watched through windows by stoners slowly turning their brains to mush.
The Dutch pride themselves in being a truly "green" society and to that end they've built a multistory bicycle parking lot at the central station.
Initially astonishing, upon reflection its a fitting symbol of the number of bikes whizzing around the city.
Cyclists are an aggressive bunch in Amsterdam. For the unwary pedestrian, venturing into the cycle lane, ( incorporated into the sidewalk) can be a risk to life and limb.
On Sunday I had a bit of downtime and spent it with my daughter in London.
The great thing about the capital is no matter how often you go there, you're always apt to see something new.
" The Bridge of Aspirations" links the Royal Ballet School with the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden.
Next time you're in the area, head to Floral Street (towards the main Piazza- turn right after exiting the underground) and have a look.
I think its a hidden gem.
It was raining on Sunday and we decided to do a typically-touristy London thing: Madame Tussuad's.
Courtesy of my sister who'd made the trip from Belfast, we joined the hordes of Italian, French and Brit tourists and plunged into the fray.
Was it Naff?
Did some of the exhibits look like dressed up mannequins in wigs?
Were some of them quite good?
Was it good fun?
That's it for today.
I'll try and be better about posting in the coming weeks.
Stay well


Sara said...

Exactly how funny was Madame T for you ?? !!! Great day great memory afraid of photos to hit the surface ! xoxoxo

Lucia Falc√£o said...

Didn't find my bike there...