Given Mark’s illness, we decided to postpone our trip to Bruges. I had visions of the day ending like the final scene of Midnight Cowboy, and Mark had no intention of playing Ratso in a bad Hawaiian shirt.

Instead I left Mark to recuperate and rest. It had been a very warm night, plus a disco boat floated past on the canal at about 2am, waking the entire neighbourhood, so we hadn’t slept all that well.

I took a walk right around the Herengracht to the other side of town.

Some pretty scenes along the way.

This is the famous Magere Brug, a wooden bridge over the River Amstel.

The Blauwbrug.

My first museum of the day was the Hermitage Amsterdam, where I went to the “Matisse to Malevich” exhibition. I saw one of my favourite paintings, Matisse’s The Red Room, for the first time. It was a great exhibition and the Hermitage is a wonderful gallery space.

The Red Room. I wasn’t expecting it to be such a monumental painting in real life.

Next I went to the Rembrandthuis Museum. This was Rembrandt’s home from 1639-1658.

In the entrance hall.

The box bed in the front room. The beds were small because people slept sitting up – they didnlt want to die from a blood rush to the head.

Rembrandt’s studio.

Rembrandt had a huge collection of objects and art books.

Here is the statue of Rembrandt in the nearby Rembrandtplein.

I had a nice lunch in the square.

My third and final museum for the day was the Willet-Holthuysen Museum, a beautiful canal house on the Herengracht. It was left to the city of Amsterdam by its last owner Louisa Holthuysen in 1895 on the condition that it be open to the public. It gives you an idea of how these buildings were lived in before they were subdivided into offices and apartments.

The staircase.


Part of the collection of gorgeous Meissen porcelain.

Salon complete with artificial cat sleeping on the cushion. Louisa loved her cats and dogs.

The dining room.

The blue room.


A painting of cats!

The garden.

On the way back I walked through the Bloemenmarkt, which mainly sold bulbs and seeds.

Mark is feeling a lot better. We had dinner at a restaurant called d’Theeboom. I had the veal.

I think Orlando had tuna.