Sunday, February 1, 2009

"Use it up, wear it out..."

I don't know about you, but in order for me to feel like I've gotten my moneys worth out of something, I have to use it so many times that what I actually ended up spending on it will seem like mere cents to the dollar... or euro, depending on where you're located.

In April of last year I bought a museum card for 40 Euros which would provide me free (or discounted) access to nearly all museums in Holland for one year. Now the card's expiration is fast approaching and I can't help thinking that I really haven't the most out of what that card can offer-- with the vast amount of museums around me which I still haven't visited. Granted, through my own use of the card, and that of others I've let borrow the card, I've definitely gotten my moneys worth out of it. But that doesn't waver my mindset.

Since last Saturday's adventure to the horse menagerie didn't last more than 15 minutes, I ended up having another 2 hours worth of free time on my hands to do a little more exploring. That's when the museum card started burning a hole in my pocket. I pulled my "to do in Amsterdam" book out of my purse, which I had thrown in there just in case, and searched for a nearby museum. Location, however, wasn't the only qualification I was looking for. I needed to find a museum I was sure I'd be able to visit in it's entirety in only an hour and a half, (since I'd need 30 minutes travel time). That's when the Rembrandt House nearly popped out of the page at me. I was sure I'd be able to tour the entire thing in the allotted amount of time.... little did I know.

The museum was fascinating, especially with the accompaniment of the free audio tour. I particularly like the soft strokes of Rembrandt's paintings, but found myself drawn to the paintings of his students even more. Now, his house doesn't display very many of his paintings... you'd have to go to the Rijksmuseum in order to get your fill. But I found myself enjoying the Rembrandt house more than the Rijksmuseum. Not only does it provide you with a history into his life and the house in which he lived, tour guides provide various free workshops on things such as how he'd make paint in his day, or how he made his etchings.

Time flew by, and I ended up skipping a majority of the exhibition on another painter, Jacob Bakker, in order to make it to an appointment I previously scheduled. I'm learning, though, that I'm no good at guestimating on how long I will actually need at one museum or the next. Next time the museum card starts burning a hole in my pocket, I'll make sure I allot an extra hour of "just in case" time to what I feel will be the perfect amount of time to visit a certain museum.

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