Among the reasons I wanted to visit Amsterdam, was to take my iPhone to the Apple Store. During the late winter its battery had began expanding and the pressure caused the case to exfoliate. My online presence for the past two years has been through the phone's hotspot, so I was pleased that even with its questionable appearance, the phone still worked.
I made an appointment online with the Genius Bar for 1210 on Saturday. The tram across the bridge from Zonder Zorg led with one change to a stop directly in front of the Apple Store in Leidseplein, in the heart of Amsterdam's fashionable shopping district.
I was directed up the free-standing circular stairs to the huge loft a spiral and a half up. I was received, and within minutes, my appointed Genius told me he'd replace the phone at no charge. I had anticipated this, and had done a full backup of its contents through my computer. I then spent three hours restoring the content into my new phone and updating all my apps using their wifi and my MacBook Air. Love you, Apple.
On Monday I used my museum pass to visit the Rijksmuseum. It's located at a tram stop, one change from my mooring.
As expected, there was a large crowd in the Hall of Honour in front of Rembrandt's Night Watch.
I chose my time and finally got a clear shot with only the top of one head in the way.
There are many of Rembrandt's monumental works on display, such as this brilliant group portrait, showing the Syndics of the Drapers' Guild being surprised by our intrusion into their private meeting. Using action poses, rather than stilted ones, was one of the marks of Rembrandt's genius.
Among my favourites is this 1661 self-portrait as the Apostle Paul. He shows himself at age 55 as a worn man. This was shortly after near-bankruptcy had forced him to sell his house, his huge art collection and most of his other possessions. He died as a poor man and was buried in an unmarked grave.
The Rijksmuseum is much more than Rembrandt. It is filled with great works of most of the Dutch and Flemish masters, plus those of Italy, France and other great art centres. Here's Van Gogh's 1887 work titled: Self Portrait With A Grey Felt Hat, one of three of his twenty-four self-portraits thus titled.
By the time I had left the museum mid-afternoon, the sky had cleared and it was hot, with many people enjoying mid-spring as I walked through Oosterpark on my way back toward Zonder Zorg.