Monday, 9 September 2019

Rotterdam Hilton (Rotterdam, Netherlands)

What a great sleep I had last night! Was up a few times during the night but went right back to sleep and was up at 7:00 to have my Hilton breakfast. They served everything I’m used to having except there was no raspberry jam for my croissant. Then I went back to my room and slept for another two hours.

By the time I pulled myself together it was after 1:00. Before I left I was working on my travel plans and confirming transportation between my next few stops. I sometimes wake up in the middle of the night realizing that I didn’t think through all of my transportation needs.

Today my only focus will be to travel back to Amsterdam to visit the Rijksmuseum where I will find Rembrandt’s “Night Watch”. For whatever reason I didn’t visit this museum when I was here in 2016. Before I left I confirmed this painting was still at the museum and discovered that it was being renovated, but it is still on display.

When I arrived at Rotterdam Central I found out that my round trip ticket to Amsterdam was over 35 Euro. That was a surprise, but what can I do but pay and enjoy the ride. The next train was leaving in less than 15 minutes so my timing worked out. The train only stopped at the airport and the final stop was Amsterdam central, 53 miles from Rotterdam.

I decided to take an Uber to the museum and one showed up within five minutes after I made the booking. My driver was originally from Pakistan and moved to the Netherlands 30 years ago. Great conversation as he drove me to the museum.

After paying the admission fee I walked straight up to where Rembrandt’s painting was hung. The painting is very large (to the extent that the figures in the painting are nearly life-sized) and is behind a large plexiglas frame. There was a machine (read about this earlier) that is scanning the painting inch by inch to have a detailed record of the painting before the actual restoration work is performed.

The painting is called the Night Watch because it’s dark due to a dark varnish that was applied. In the 70’s it was restored and it lightened somewhat. The actual name of the painting was more descriptive of the event. The painting reminds me of one that Grandpa Marsh had in his living room.

After taking several pictures I walked around the museum and admired other collections. I believe almost everything in the museum is Dutch. The museum is vast but would be considered small if compared to the Louvre. After about 45 minutes I was ready to leave.

I ordered another Uber to return me to the train station. Remarkably at 5:00 and you would expect the roads to be jammed. Most people ride their bikes or use public transportation. Very few cars were on the road and my Uber driver had me back to the station in about 15 minutes.

By the time I got back to the hotel it was 6:30 and I stopped in the Executive Lounge for a beer and a few treats before heading up to my room. Thankfully I bought a sandwich at the Rotterdam station because the finger food in the lounge would have not be enough for me.

I discovered that the TV in my room will accommodate a HDMI cable so I’ll watch another Star Trek movie tonight before going to bed. Tomorrow I’ll walk around the harbor area and take in the sites in that area. Of course tomorrow morning I’ll have a Hilton breakfast before heading out.

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