Date: Thursday, July 10, 1958
No one woke up this morning so we missed breakfast, and got up just in time for our tour. First we went to Aalsmeer, the flower market – never saw so many beautiful flowers – roses, carnation, etc, but no tulips! I did buy 50 Parrot tulip bulbs, though, to send home to Dad.
Next we went to take a picture of a windmill (there are only 26 in all of Holland). The houses here are small with painted roofs and every yard is very well-kept and full of flowers. Saw a few people wearing wooden shoes! We ended our morning tour by going through a diamond factory and saw how diamonds are cut, shaped, and polished. (Very interesting!) Saw some finished diamonds and I like the emerald cut the best. Too bad they weren’t giving away free samples!
The food here isn’t very good at all and from now on we have to be careful what we eat. No milk, water, lettuce, or tomatoes.
In the afternoon we went to the Rijksmuseum to look at Rembrandt’s painting and I got so sleepy that I came home and slept ’til dinner time.
Our student guide, Jen, took us to this Dutch student center after supper. It was really cute, travel posters, lighted candles, in bottles, a bar, and a place to dance. I met this very cute boy, Case, who is 23. He was a wonderful dancer and interesting to talk to! Sue and I had coffee and then came home.
Rembrandt’s painting The Night Watch was completed in 1642. It shows the company of Captain Frans Banning Cocq and his lieutenant, Willem van Ruytenburgh, accompanied by sixteen members of the civic guards. The piece is considered a classic example of Baroque art and it is the best known painting in the Rijksmuseum’s collection.
The painting depicts a scene that at first, appeared to be occurring at night – but it turned out to be an error in interpretation. The canvas was coated with layers of varnish and dirt and this led to a darkening of the surface. Once the painting was restored in the 1940s, it was discovered to be much brighter than at first. Now the work is believed to show a day scene.
Sadly, the Aalsmeer Flower Market/Auction may become a thing of the past: