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I'm back, tired but happy. Amsterdam was wonderful; I really need to go there again soon on a holiday, because when you are on a business trip you don't have that much time to do the things you would like to do yourself. I tried to squeeze in a few museum visits during my stay, but I didn't have time to see everything I would have wanted since I only had the evenings for myself. It's a good thing that visiting museums is regarded as "business" in my line of work but it sometimes also feels like a chore: my boss wouldn't probably like it if I didn't visit any exhibitions during my stay but instead spent my "free" time shopping and drinking wine :) 

I arrived in Amsterdam on Thursday afternoon and had the evening for myself. I spent the day roaming around the city without any real destination - I was just so overwhelmed by the beauty and the history of the city. Oh how I just love Amsterdam! I remember thinking the same thing last time I visited the city some six years ago but as the years have passed I had forgotten just how much I loved it. There's something about it that makes me feel right at home, and I remember thinking the same thing last time I was there: I could really picture myself living there. There's something about the Dutch way of live that I love and envy: people riding their bikes to work, small cafes and restaurant in every corner, little boutiques, grocery stores selling ecological produce, people smiling and the whole laid-back atmosphere. There's also a small-town ambiance and it's hard to remember that you are walking the streets of an European capital. So Rijksmuseum, if you are reading this: please offer me a job, I really want to work there!

On Thursday I didn't do much else than just walked. I looked at the houses and the canals, took photos, walked over the bridges and along the small alleyways, stopped to look at the map, drank coffee, and then walked some more. Then it started to get dark and I walked some more because the houses and the little bridges looked so different when the lights were lit and it was all so beautiful. By the time I made it back to the hotel my feet were killing me.

On Friday and Saturday I was attending the furniture conservation seminar in Rijksmuseum and in addition to it and going for a dinner afterwards I didn't really have time for much else. However I did manage to find time to make quick visits to the Amsterdam city museum (which I didn't really like: too few historical objects, too much written information and multimedia) and the Van Gogh museum (which I loved). We had some time reserved for the exhibitions in Rijksmuseum, but to see the whole house (which is huge by the way) in just an hour and a half on a Saturday afternoon when the place was fully packed with tourists was definitely not enough time so I just browsed through the masterpieces like Vermeer and Rembrandt.


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