(September 19, 2016, Monday) I explored Amsterdam in the morning before having breakfast in the hotel. My first stop was Koninklijk Paleis:
Oude Kerk or Old Church:
Houses and canal:
Amsterdam’s Centraal station:
I returned to the hotel to have breakfast. It wasn’t included in the room price so I paid 6.80 euros for it.
Then I went to the museum.
I paid 910.72 Philippine pesos for an e-ticket for the Rijksmuseum on July 25, 2016. The ticket says: “To avoid the crowds plan your visit before 11 am or after 2 pm.” With or without that advice, I really had to be there before 11 AM because it’s the check-out time at the hotel.
The Night Watch by Rembrandt van Rijn. The tour guide (I was a hanger-on) said that the painting was revolutionary at that time (1642) because it depicted action; it wasn’t stationary.
The Milkmaid by Johannes Vermeer. A different tour guide (again I was a hanger-on) said that the basket on the upper left corner of the painting (1658) shows that there is no house without mice. The object on the lower right corner is used to warm the body up until the waist.
Facade of the Rijksmuseum:
I returned to the hotel after visiting Rijksmuseum. I left my room at exactly 11 AM and headed straight to the Centraal station to catch the train that would take me to Brussels, Belgium. There I would be reunited with my mom and sister, who had been in Stockholm, Sweden.
On Thalys train from 12:17 PM to 2:08 PM. Fare was 29 euros. (The route shown below may or may not be the one taken by Thalys)
We went to the Atomium after the “reunion” at the train station in Brussels.
Left: With my mom; Right: My sister.
And then we went to the Grand Place, where we would part ways for a few hours.
Hotel de Ville:
I explored the rest of Brussels on my own. Below is Manneken Pis, probably the most iconic attraction in all of Belgium.
Below is the triumphal arch at the Parc du Cinquantenaire. It’s far from Manneken Pis; and I got lost looking for the other attractions in my list, such as Palais Royal and the headquarters of the European Union. I lost the map I had bought for 1 euro at Grand Place.
It was time to reunite with my family and to return to Paris, France.
On Thalys train with my family from 8:43 PM to 10:05 PM. Fare was also 29 euros. (Again, the route shown below may or may not be the one taken by Thalys)