It was a joy to see Patrick last weekend in Amsterdam - we had a great time visiting museums in the mornings, meeting for lunch and strolling at our leisure in the afternoons before drinks and dinner.
I loved the Vermeer paintings at the Rijks museum (Girl with a Pearl Earring will have to wait for another visit as she is in the Mauritshuis in the Hague). I snapped The Milkmaid painting and couldn't resist the adorable Playmobil version which I put together in seconds on the dining room table this afternoon. We enjoyed Rembrandt's house even though there weren't too many of his paintings in it. The museum is more about his life as a teacher and working artist. It was good to see the way paint was rubbed and how the master created his prints. We stuck with the 17th century this time which helped me appreciate one or two of the finer points of these wonderful paintings and I loved the depictions of everyday life  - a welcome change from the religious subjects of the Renaissance. There are many old buildings as you can see and their interiors almost all have steep staircases, panelled walls, vaulted ceilings and mezzanine floors. A shop called Het Hansa Huis pictured below is a good example; it was and is an importer of tea and coffee and luxury goods. I bought some lovely tea and lemongrass soap.  I fancy making an apple and cinnamon cake similar to the last photo next weekend. Cinnamon is very popular in this part of the world. I would try the pottertjes (mini pancakes) but I need a frying pan like the one in Rembrandt's kitchen. 

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