12 October 2014

The way to Van Gogh

The desire to see the Van Gogh museum is by itself already a daunting task. First is to reach Amsterdam by train. We carried a printed map in hand and happily got lost. It took us more than an hour to get to the museum from Amsterdam Centraal train station though Google Maps says it is just a 38-minute walk. Google isn't brilliant enough to ask you if you like to stop at a corner to have a cup of tea.

We didn't mind the long walk. There were lots to see. In fact, the walk to Van Gogh's museum was the entire day's itinerary and was a very good decision in my opinion. Everything we found in between was a bonus. We walked through different neighborhoods. There were coffee shops everywhere where most people were happily taking a sip of coffee though I am pretty sure the elated feeling wasn't because of the caffeine. Whimsical things popped from nowhere and even the scenery felt cartoony because of the colorful buildings against the bright blue sky. There were also serious musician and artists on the sidewalks taking chance of attention from passers-by.

We reached the museum to find a considerably long queue though I feel that the queues at the Singapore train stations are even longer. Immediately after we got the tickets, I asked the security in which floor the The Starry Night is. To my disappointment, it is in New York and unfortunately that is a fact that I had not known. Nonetheless, there were a lot of artworks from Van Gogh and other artists like Claude Monet. Van Gogh's painting on towels or on backs of existing paintings due to shortage of supplies were interesting. Though he is very skilled in many techniques, I prefer his impressionist artworks.

Photography inside the museum is definitely a no and I would like to stick to that rule. It is my only way of paying respect to the artists who have lived different lives, some even unfortunate. The song Vincent haunts me to this day and every time I hear that song I had imagined he saw the night sky in the very same way he painted those bewildering starry nights.

The museum closed a bit earlier than expected and everyone went rushing down to the shop to purchase some souvenirs. My little niece chose a postcard of Van Gogh's expression of the almond blossoms. We left the museum with the sun still up but already low above the horizon. The golden sun lit the park which made me want to sit down and relax until I see the night sky start to twinkle but our train back to Köln, Germany departs shortly after 6 PM. I had thought of buying my brother the Starbucks mug on the way back though every inch of me was aching to just sit down in the local coffee shops and have a chat.

Directions: Amsterdam Centraal to Van Gogh Museum


  1. "...I am pretty sure the elated feeling wasn't because of the caffeine." - so Amsterdam's a happy place? ;)

    PS I'm loving the new layout Kim. Sleek and easy to the eyes. Makes me want to overhaul mine. Hmmm...

  2. Amsterdam felt like a happy pill sans any happiness inducing substance, at least for me. If you ever visit Europe, this city should be in your list.

    I feel my photos are too large to fit on the screen esp. those with portrait orientation. Nonetheless, this should be good enough for now. The site should be better to look at using a tablet in the portrait mode.