Amsterdam explored

Last night we went to the concertgebouw, which has every bit as fabulous acoustics as one has heard. The program was a student orchestra who played Prokofiev and Shostakovich quite well. I only wish the Leningrad Symphony had been a bit shorter.

Today a tour of Amsterdam by canal Boat.

We got off at Waterloo Place to visit the Jewish museum, which had a very interesting history of the Sephardic Jews in Amsterdam. Followed by a visit to the Portuguese synagogue, built in the 1600s and still in use.

Great lunch of Dutch meatballs and beer. i have actually eaten quite well in Amsterdam , contrary to expectation. Back to Nice tomorrow.

Rembrandt immersion

Arrived in Amsterdam yesterday. Fantastic weather–sunny and temps in the 60s. Our hotel is in the museum district, 5 minutes from Rijksmuseum where my friend from Nice, Nicole, and I spent the day.

In commemoration of the 350th anniversary of Rembrandt’s death, the museum has put its entire Rembrandt collection on display–over 400 etchings, drawings and paintings. It was somewhat overwhelming and many of the works were tiny, so I certainly didn’t see more than a small sample. Here are 2 obvious ones and one I found funny:

For lunch we visited the Michelin starred restaurant next to the museum. Very modern takes on traditional Dutch cooking–leek with truffles and Gouda, short ribs in curry.

After lunch, more art of the Dutch masters. Now a nap and tonight a concert at the Concertgebouw.

Menton Citrus Festival

In 4 years of wintering in Nice, I had never been to Menton, a French resort on the Italian border which is only 40 minutes away by train. Today I finally made it, thanks to my friends Jocelyne and Nancy. (Nancy is Jocelyne’s daughter and lives in Menton. I actually met her in New York).

From left: Nancy with Charlie and Jocelyne with guess who

We had a fabulous lunch in the old town and then walked our dogs around the port.

After, we drove past the park where the festival du citron is taking place. Each exhibit is made up of thousands and thousands of individually placed lemons and oranges. Because I took my photo from the car, I am also including a few closeups downloaded from the internet, that show the fruit fantasies in closer view.