Thursday, 15 March 2012
Last-Year Travels: Amsterdam (again)
If you read this blog way back in the wastelands of 2010, you may remember that I visited Amsterdam, fell in love with the place and went on a bit about wanting to go back. Well, the return visit happened sooner than I thought, courtesy of Eurostar and Sian from Domestic Sluttery, and guess what? I loved it every bit as much the second time around.
Despite managing to pick the same place out of the guidebook to go for dinner as last time (luckily it was just as tasty as it had been before), we saw a whole load of new places. We stayed in Citizen M and were baffled by the need for placing the loo and shower in the middle of the bedroom as well as the complex lighting options. More complex lighting came care of Electric Ladyland, a tiny museum of fluorescent art.
It was a 'museum' in the loosest sense: part installation, part instruction. I'm not sure I understand fluorescent art anymore than when I walked through the door but it certainly looked very pretty.
One thing I did learn was that when I go grey my hair will fluores - a great reason to take up raving in my old age.
A complete contrast was Our Lord in the Attic, a church built in the attic of a merchants house to hold catholic services when they weren't allowed to worship in the city. The church was beautiful, more so placed within the context of the house: it is one of the beautiful canal-side buildings, formerly a merchant's house.
It was full of long corridors, hidden rooms and tall windows straight out of a Vermeer painting.
The building is in the middle of a long restoration project and is stripped back, almost to its bare bones. I loved discovering the clues of what the house once looked like - the tile shown at the top of the post, the incredible gothic style wallpaper below.
And of course we merrily ate - a carb fest of chips and mayo, mashed potatoes, croques madames - and drank ourselves sleepy and happy with delicious beer.