Our last days

3 & 4 June

A late night last night prevented me from getting a blog written last night so here is the story of the last couple of days of this trip.

Yesterday started with an early visit to the Rijksmuseum  to catch up on a few old friends. Vermeer’s “Milkmaid” is one of my favourite pictures, his best work seems to save a glow that few other artists achieve and the relatively simple subject matter really appeals to me.

Rembrandt’s “Night Watch” certainly impresses but I believe that his best works are the self portraits and the museum has several. One of him as a young man and another painted near the end of his life provide a contrast between him as a brash youngster and as a worn out almost bewildered old man. Wonderful!

We had arranged to meet our old friends Jenny and Hein at Schiphol airport which was a good practice for us for our departure. 

Hein turned up in his classic Jaguar and drove us to a couple of historic villages. Schoonhoven was particularly lovely, we parked on a major canal with ferries regularly crossing and  large freight barges heading inland from Rotterdam. The village had narrow streets lined with tall traditional houses. It was great to sit at an outside cafe for a drink and a piece of apple cake with whipped cream.

Jenny organised for us to have dinner with some of her family in Alphen an den Rijn, where the live and seven of us had a convivial meal. White asparagus is in season across Europe and is considered a real treat and a couple of members of our party chose it as a main. After most of the group consumed their three courses it was getting late but Hein kindly insisted on running us back into Amsterdam. It was a late night but great fun.

Today has been much quieter, after checking out of our hotel we left our bags and took a  canal cruise of the central city. The weather was beautiful and the city was showing off its best side.

A trip to the Schiphol airport for for our trip home via Heathrow and Guangzhou ended the pleasant part of our holiday.

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