This week I was meant to be celebrating my Birthday in Amsterdam, but in light of the current Pandemic I’m staying home and saving lives. However, I thought I would indulge in a bit of ‘Armchair Travel’ and see how much of Amsterdam I could explore without leaving my house!
The main purpose of my trip to Amsterdam was to put another tick on my bucket list and visit the Tulip fields. Unfortunately the world famous ‘Keukenhof’ spring flower garden will not open to the public this year (it only opens for 6 weeks each Spring). The good news is that videos of the flowers are being posted regularly on the official Keukenhof Instagram and Facebook pages, so at least I can still admire the Tulips from my armchair!
To compensate for not going to the gardens, I did treat myself to some authentic wooden tulips (www.dehollandseklompenwinkel.nl)!
Another stop on our planned itinerary was to be the ‘Anne Frank House’, the museum dedicated to the Jewish wartime diarist who, along with her family, hid from the Nazis during the Second World War. How ironic that I’m unable to visit as I’m currently in lockdown myself! Having recently read Anne’s Diary, I certainly am not going to grumble about being told to stay at home in my comfortable surroundings! It is possible to visit ‘The Secret Annex’ virtually (www.annefrank.org), which is useful as my eldest Son is currently completing a project on World War 2!
One of Amsterdam’s top attractions is the ‘Rijksmuseum’, the museum of the Netherlands. This stunning building houses world famous masterworks from the Dutch Golden Age including the ‘Milkmaid’ by Vermeer and Rembrandt’s ‘Night Watch’. It is possible to partake in one (or all) of eight virtual tours of the Rijksmuseum (www.rijksmuseum.nl).
Another museum that is interacting with the public is the ‘Van Gogh Museum’. Their website allows a virtual experience of the museum, as well as homeschooling lessons about art (www.vangoghmuseum.nl/we-bring-the-museum-to-you).
Amsterdam 360 allows you to delve into the area’s sights and sounds, from the tulips to the windmills to the shopping streets and beyond. Best viewed on YouTube.
iamamsterdam.com is an excellent website, and as all museums, theatres and other sights in Amsterdam are currently closed until at least 1st June 2020, they’ll ‘bring Amsterdam to you!’ They even suggest movies filmed in Amsterdam! Time to dig out ‘Ocean’s Twelve’ or ‘Diamonds are Forever’?
What else would I be doing in Amsterdam? Enjoying the food, coffee and Jenever of course! Oh well, I’ll make do for now with the piece of Edam in my fridge!
Travel is my passion and in these unprecedented times I can’t see any of this year’s travel plans coming to fruition, but do you know what….. maybe it’s time to reset and recharge. Thanks to modern technology the World is now explorable from your own home. Amsterdam and the Tulips are still on my travel bucket list, but for now my new passion is….. Armchair Travel!
Stay safe, stay home & save lives.