After a good breakfast at the hotel we made our way to the Jewish quarter to see the Portuguese Synagogue. We caught the tram up to the Dam and then we walked, quite a way, to our destination. Our route took us through China Town and lots of interesting arty shops which it had always been too crowded to appreciate when we have been before. We stopped for a coffee/ chocolate before going in the actual synagogue. Of course Hyw had to don a “kippur ” but apparently it was ok for me to be bare headed. There was of course masses of security with the door behind you shutting before they let you in the second door. Our tickets were fairly expensive but that would get us in to three museums in total, although we in fact didn’t go to the Holocaust museum.
Inside the synagogue it was huge and very spare, I had thought it would be heavily decorated but apart from the chandeliers there was no decoration whatsoever. The building is as it was in the 17 century and has no electricity, light for evening services being candle power. We also went into the Treasury which I guess is where they invested in their ornamentation, lots of very fine silver and gold work.
Our next stop was the Jewish Historical museum which was just across the road, again, very heavy security to get in. There was a synagogue in there too but this had various artefacts, including circumcision instruments, explained. There was a good display of books and texts, one famous scribe of Holy writings also did a nice line in forgeries so that the Dutch sailors did not have to pay Spanish import duties. I also saw the document that declared Spinoza to be heretical and casting him out from the Jewish faith.
After so much culture we went back through the streets, taking in the flea market ( the name was apt!) and the bulb market and onto the tram line where we caught the 5 back to the museums and within a spit of the restaurant. So it was our second visit in 24 hours, this time it was booked and there was much anticipation on my part as to what I should have. When it came to ordering I thought “what the hell” and ordered one of the seafood platters and 1/2 dozen extra oysters. Where can I begin, the oysters had to be eaten in a special order depending on their price and where they had come from. I had two at the very start and saved the rest to finish off with. In between I had Lobster, snow crab, razor clams, mussels, cockles, vongole, the big cockles I can never remember the name of, prawns, scampi, winkles, crab salad and langoustines! Truly a meal that will go down in history, washed down with two glasses of cinsault.
After a coffee we went along the road to the Van Gogh museum for a show of Daubigny, Monet, a few VG and Pissarro. It was jolly good and not at all crowded so one could view, and go back at ones leisure. Since we last came to the museum they have opened up a new section, where the show was, and also resited the shop so was able to buy a few gifts. We didn’t go to see the VG’s proper as we saw them recently.
The hotel were very good to us and kindly downloaded our return tickets so we were all set for our journey home. In the evening we weren’t too hungry so we went to a restaurant next door to the Seafood place and had a light meal of steak washed down with a fine Merlot.
Thursday morning we had a leisurely start to the day and then made our way to the airport where I sit now and finish writing this. The plane should be due any minute now!
An hour and a half later we are home again, a good trip but no more for a bit, I like my own bed too much!