Thursday, 19 August 2010

Amsterdam - Rembrandt,Scream, A stroll in the park and Metallica

We were treated to cracking versions of classic songs such as , Nothing else matters, Enter Sandman, Creeping Death, One,Master of puppets and the Four horsemen. Really enjoyed the set and the frontman was a real talent- hope they win.

The lead singer (James Hetfield lookalike)from the Metallica tribute band who were absolutely brilliant.

Marina and me at the Leidesplein.

The U2 tribute band who we caught the end of their set. Highlight had to be when the singer (Bono) jumped down into the audience and sang as he walked around the crowd. He then took it a step further by boarding a tram and walking the length of a carriage still singing away!!

Rockdonald - Tribute band who were pretty good.

Had arranged to meet Marina at the Leidespleinslein after she finished work.
The square and surrounding streets are packed with bars,restaurants,cafes,clubs,cinemas and souvenir shops. At night time it becomes neon-lit along with a strange art-nouveau style.
A big marquee had also been erected along with temporary bar facilities. I found out that the weekend was the culmination of a tribute bands competition that had started off with 5,000 bands competing. This had now been whittled down to just 9 over the three days.
We decided to watch the first band who were covering songs mainly by Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Pearl Jam. They were actually pretty good and went down well with the crowd.
Not being too keen on U2 we decided to miss the next band and come back later for 'Present Danger' a Metallica tribute.

Views from Vondelpark.

Spent a very pleasant couple of hours in the Rijks and was even happier to see that it had stopped raining and the sun was out as I emerged into daylight again.
Decided that it would be nice to have a wander around Vondelpark as close by and it was now a lovely day once again.
It was clear to see how 'Amsterdammers' love Vondelpark from the amount of runners,cyclists,walkers and general chilling out taking place. Apparently more than eight million people visit it's 111 acres every year. The Park is the biggest in the city and is filled with trees,pathways,ponds and lakes with loads of wildlife. There is also an arboretum, bandstand, Rose Garden and an open air theatre.
Rembrandt - 'The Nightwatch'

My Favourite Painting - Hendrick Avercamp- 'Winter Landscape'

What had started out as a beautiful sunny day soon turned into a rainstorm. Of course my umbrella was back at the hotel! I discovered a wonderful flea market selling just about everything as I meandered the streets and canals. Taking extra care not to be run down by a tram or more likely a bicycle. I was pleased because I picked up the latest 'Lee Child' paperback for next to nothing. I can mooch around these old markets for hours but had to reign myself in a little- time was passing.
Due to the rain I had to duck into a few 'unusual' shops to shelter on my way to the Rijks Museum. Loaded down with my book and 8 newly purchased CD's.
The Rijks Museum is the major art gallery of the Netherlands. It contains many works by Rembrandt including the amazing and world famous 'Nightwatch'. The other great Dutch name in the collection is Vermeer, the most well known work being the 'The Kitchen Maid'. A beautifully lit portrait of a young girl pouring milk into a bowl. I have to say my personal favourite is be Hendrick Avercamp 'Winter Landscape'. There is always humour in his work somewhere , as in this case with a courting couple as well as people going to the toilet!!

My rough destination was a CD shop that I wanted to check out in the south of the city. The journey was to be on foot and a voyage of discovery taking in whatever was to come my way......

Central Station


I had the whole day to explore as Marina had already left early for work. I caught one of the 15 tram lines into Central Station using my newly acquired OV Chipkaart. The tram is by far the easiest way to get around.
Central Station is located in the middle of the City and is an attraction in it's own right. The stationed opened in 1889 and is currently under reconstruction and serves 166,000 passengers a day. It is twinned with Liverpool St Station in London.

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