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Amsterdam and ‘s-Hertogenbosch

On this trip, I left for Amsterdam on May 24 for work and returned June 2. I had the weekend of May 28 and 29 off; this time my friends suggested ‘s-Hertogenbosch (or just Den Bosch, pronounced “den bos”), so I took the train there on Saturday; the only train is an intercity but it only takes one hour and only stops a few times before reaching ‘s-Hertogenbosch Centraal Station.

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The facade of Centraal Station

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A baker’s shop sign

I walked to the St. Jan cathedral, through the Markt – on Saturday, the Markt is really packed with people buying and selling stuff.

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A view down the Markt

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The statue of Hieronomous Bosch in the middle of the Markt

St. Jan cathedral is huge – its really cool inside as well. Unfortunately, many of the Hieronomous Bosch paintings that once adorned the interior are no longer there, victims of the 1566 riots. But, the interior is still wonderfully Gothic. And, there’s a fantastic organ inside!

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An interior view of the St. Jan cathedral

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A statue of Mary and Jesus inside the cathedral
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St. Jan Cathedral
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The all-knowing eye inside the cathedral – this was very cool!

I then had a quick lunch of a broodjes oude kaas (old cheese sandwich) and a cola light (that would be a slightly sweeter version of Diet Coke). And off to the Noordbrabants Museum. This museum is very cool – they have a few painting by the school of Bosch along with other works by notables such as Bruegel the Younger.

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The facade of the Noordbrabants Museum

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De Aanbidding der Koningen by Navolger Jeroen Bosch
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De Lakenmarkt van ‘s-Hertogenbosch by anonymous

I then followed the signs to the Museum Het Kruithuis, but alas it was not moved completely to their new building by the train station – the old building has municipal art, in other words local artists’ work for sale.

As I walked back through a park I saw a memorial, I think, to the people lost to the holocaust.

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The World War II memorial to the holocaust

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The inscription

I shopped a little and then caught a train back to Amsterdam.

Did I say it was hot? It was bright, sunny, and I was sweating in a tee shirt and shorts and sandals….

I got back to Amsterdam and walked over to the Amsterdam Historisch Museum. Some people had suggested against visiting – they are wrong. This is a great stop, the path through the museum is clearly marked and it takes you through the history of Amsterdam. I asked at the gift shop when the Anne Frank House closed; he said 7PM (its actually 9PM now) so I walked over. On the way an all-girl rock band was playing in front of the summer palace – they were doing a great version of “Knocking on Heaven’s Door” when the lead singer decided to pretend to do a guitar solo – that’s when I walked away!

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The all-girl band performing a song about being goddesses –
at least there’s no guitar solo on this one!

I waited about 15 minutes to enter the museum. I almost cried, I could hardly talk, it was very depressing. I remember reading the book a year or so ago and crying at the end. A British woman behind me asked which members of the family slept in the lowest large room – I told her (the Franks except for Anne) and asked if she’d read the book – she said no. I was disappointed. On the way out an American family asked me for directions to the Anne Frank House – I didn’t ask if they had read the book.

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The ticket for Anne Frank House

Sunday I took an early walk to Dam Square – I needed to get some change and leave the room vacant so the staff could clean it. I listened for a while to a guy playing bagpipes in the square (guess its that very old Scottish heritage that makes me like bagpipes so much). There was also a great view of the cuppola of the summer palace from below.

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A bagpiper (quite good) ouside the
summer palace

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A view of the top of the summer palace

On this trip, like all the others, I read a few books – you can look into my blog to see which ones.

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