Visiting Museums using the I Amsterdam Card
A Terrifying Awakening
Finally, a Windmill!
The next day, after lots of coffee, I found myself in the far reaches of the city limits. The I Amsterdam Card provides access to many attractions outside of “downtown” Amsterdam. I headed to visit the Molen Van Sloten windmill and mill museum. Only a 40 minute tram ride away, I was given a private tour of the only tower mill open to the public.
The first thing I noticed when I walked through Haarlem’s Grote Markt (Market Square) was not the bustling Saturday market, but the enormous church. Churches in Europe remind me of my dad. My family’s first trip abroad was a whirlwind tour of the Mediterranean. Marseilles, Gibraltar, Malta, Sardinia, Italy…everywhere we went, we toured churches. As anyone who has ever been to the Catholic parts of Europe knows, there’s a church on every corner. Every time he saw one he would say, “Oh look! A Church!” Thinking about his gusto and feigned surprise makes my family laugh to this day.
As I continued along my way, trying to get to my museum du jour, an elderly man stopped me as I was taking photos of the canals. Knowing the narcissism of today’s society, he assumed I wanted photos of myself. #PhotoOrItDidntHappen. No matter how much I protested, he insisted on staging a mini-photoshoot. At first, I was concerned he just wanted my camera so that he could cut and run, but ultimately I was wrong. (Is it the Chicago in me that makes me not trust anyone?) What I got in return for this man’s time was a collection of about 15 photos of me looking mildly glamorous, but mostly cold.
Using the I Amsterdam Card in Haarlem
My I Amsterdam Card gave me access to a couple of museums in Haarlem, but I only chose to visit one, the Teylers Museum. The oldest museum in Holland, it is part natural history museum, part art exhibit, and part collection of gadgetry. It was not very crowded when I was there on a Saturday morning, but I did get there when it opened. When I left 90 minutes later, there were many more people arriving. My favorite parts of the museum were the beautiful atrium, pictured below, and the gem exhibits.
Don’t Forget a Canal Tour
Finally, the last excursion where I was using the I Amsterdam Card was a dusk canal tour. I must say, these tours were not what I expected. There was much less interaction from the boat captain than I thought there’d be, but each boat had multilingual audio tours and headphones. I listened to part of the tour in English, part in French, and a touch in Italian. It lasted approximately 30 minutes and took us around a few of the Dutch canals. We went through the shortest as well as the narrowest bridge opening, which was a bit of fun along the tour. I was there just a few days before the Amsterdam Light Festival, so I did see some of the exhibits going up.