- Photo Essays
This is a guest post by Yvonne Doherty.
When one thinks of Holland (or correctly known as The Netherlands), one usually conjures up images of cheese, tulips, clogs and “coffee “shops. However, while living there for 5 years I became intimate with this amazing country. Now, when I think of going back to The Netherlands, I think ART!
On my next trip I have an itinerary planned that will span the cities I lived and worked in. I suggest a full day in each of these cities and as they are all within an hour of each other by train they can be visited in any order you like.
My first stop and the place where I will base myself will be on an island called Dordrecht, in the South of Holland. It is around 45 minutes by train from Amsterdam. I lived there for 5 years and to me it is a second home. There are canals, cobble stoned streets, town squares and buildings dating back to the 1600’s.
I plan on staying outside of the centre of town at the magnificent Villa Augustus, which is a relativity new addition to the island of ‘Dordt’. Around 2003 the owners came up with the idea to reclaim the under water land surrounding a magnificent water tower built in 1882. They have since established a beautiful fruit, herb & vegetable garden, that provides the seasonal produce served at the restaurant.
The quirky black bunny branding and whimsical décor make it a place like no other. Try and visit during summer and spend a warm night under the full moon wandering around the garden paths lined with flowers.
Whilst there I will also visit the Dordrechts Museum, which has an amazing collection of paintings and furniture and the buildings themselves are a must see for an example of buildings from the 1600’s.
Next stop – the windy habour city of Rotterdam. You can catch the train there in 15 minutes, but I suggest taking a water taxi from the Hotel Bellevue in Dordrecht.
Brunch or lunch needs to be eaten overlooking the port at the fabulous Hotel New York which is actually owned by the same people who created Villa Augustus.
Then wander over the Nederlands Foto Museum with permanent collections and excellent contemporary shows.
Another ten-minute walk away is the Kunsthalset inside the museum park
THE HAGUE (Den Haag)
My favourite gallery in Den Haag is the Gemeente Museum
After visiting the museum, take a walk through the nearby forest, the Scheveningse Bosjes and then catch a tram to visit the Scheveningen pier and take a beach walk along the chilly North Sea.
My favourite gallery in Amsterdam, FOAM Photographic Gallery
As for my suggestions, the best is last!
The Kroller Moller Museum is set in the middle of a deciduous forest, through which you can drive, walk or ride any of the white bikes left on roadsides. The museum itself is a beautiful light filled Bauhaus building with massive floor to ceiling windows. The art works are from the 18th and 19th C and some of Van Gogh’s most famous or recognisable pieces are here.
These are just some of the 400 plus galleries and museums and I am sure you will find many more to enjoy including the more well known Escher Museum, The Van Gogh Museum and The Rembrandt House Museum.