amsterdam sketches and photos

I had a great time pottering around Amsterdam for three days with my sister and Stuart. My sister and I did a lot of general goofing around and we did a lot of walking in the freezing cold. Here’s a photo she took of me in a coffee shop. (No, not that kind of coffee shop.)

We stayed in a hotel that had once been a rather grand theatre, so we were expecting a great lobby, but even more pleased to find we had an amazing view from our top floor room. Here’s a picture I drew, looking out through the window in the slanted ceiling.

And a rough panorama photo collage of the view (which doesn’t include the ringing church bells):

I made some pen sketches of a few of the paintings we saw in museums. Here’s one from the Rijksmuseum. I rather like how it came out.

And a few from the Van Gogh Museum:

The guards at both museums were rather distractingly interested in what I was drawing. I think they were very bored. In the Van Gogh Museum, I thought one guard was telling me off for about two minutes and going to chuck me out, until I realised he was just being overly friendly. (…You are a weirdo, sir. Is this Dutch humour?.)

When we weren’t almost getting run over by them, we love-love-loved all the bicycles everywhere. I bought one of the really big bells to put on my bike back in London.

The Dutch know how to haul things around on their bikes, I don’t know why Londoners don’t have more of this sort of gear. I suppose the cycling’s a bit gentler in Amsterdam.

We took the train, a much more civilised way of travelling than airports with their endless security queues and having to get to the faraway airport super early.

Here’s a picture I drew on the train of my sister reading Vainglory by Geraldine McCaughrean. As always, a picture I draw of a family member doesn’t look anything like, but oh well, too bad.

And a cool station clock:

As always, it was fun spotting bits of English slightly out of context.

We headed over to the Rembrandt House Museum, but only Stuart ended up going in because my sister and I got completely distracted by a nearby flea market. I drew this when we met him in the reception area, clutching three vintage dresses and a coat in our arms.

I was slightly tempted by this book at the flea market but took a photo instead:

All the swans gathered in one canal at night, the huge numbers of them looked strange in the lights.

A rather lovely tree and wood nymph at the park:

I’ve just taken my sister to Gatwick and she’s heading off to Seattle. So it’s back to work… and a big, fat, pressing deadline! If I pop up on this blog in the next week or so, forgive me if I say bizarre things and sound totally over-caffeinated. (No singing, though, I promise.)

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