First few days in the Netherlands

First few days in the Netherlands

My friend, Lionel. and me in Amsterdam

It has been a hectic month of preparing for the RCM piano examinations, finalizing two tours for clients, and getting ready for my flights. My students did very well, with 1 Honors, and 5 First Class with Honors. The South African tour is ready, and my brother, Johan, is the official guide for the Cape Town portion while I take over in Johannesburg. The long-awaited Tanzania tour is finalized. After a 7 1/2-hour flight, I arrived safely in Amsterdam, where my friend, Lionel, was waiting for me.

Bicycle decorated with flowers

We drove to the center city, where we parked the car and took to the streets. I loved the old buildings, the canal, and the bright flowers at building entrances, in pots, and on bicycles. We had to keep a permanent eye open for bicycles flying by at top speed.









Anne Frank Museum

We had tickets for the Anne Frank House, and what a moving experience that was. To think that she, together with her family and two friends hid in a few small rooms behind a bookshelf in a store in a factory for two years while she documented their life there. Only one man survived, and he made public her diary. I was a little nervous because the staircases leading to the rooms were extremely narrow and steep but managed to keep up. Luckily, broad staircases were going back down. We were not allowed to take photographs inside the building. No photos allowed inside the building.

Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

After a great sandwich at Blushing Restaurant, we aimed for The Rijksmuseum. What a beautiful building with such rich treasures.


Rembrandt Nachtwacht, Rijksmuseum, Netherlands

Of course, we aimed for Rembrandt’s Nachtwacht, a six-hundred-year-old painting. It is in the process of being restored. It was fascinating that the restorers were measuring the vibrations of air behind the canvass to determine how best to preserve it for the future. I was intrigued by the display of Delft porcelain objects, including a violin!

I managed to climb the equivalent of 11 staircases (according to the cellphone) and walked about five miles during the day. I also rode on a few trams and the metro. Then, it was off to Emmen where Tania, Lionel’s wife, was waiting for us. I fell asleep in the car a few times but got a second wind and we enjoyed a lovely meal and a good chat.

Tania an I at Bosbergtoren, Friesland




The following morning, Tania and Lionel took me to the 108 ft high Bosbergtoren (Bosberg Tower) in the village of Appelsha in the province of Friesland. We had a nearly 180-degree beautiful view of the surrounding areas before enjoying Gea’s home-baked Appeltaart, coffee, and tea at Restaurant de Bosberg.

Emmen, Buttterfly city, Netherlands






We then returned to Emmen city center, visiting the library, the church dating back to 1400, the open square with restaurants and little shops, and finally a supermarket. Butterflies, Emmen’s emblem, adorn the manhole covers on the streets. I am having a lively time in the Netherlands.

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