And on the second day, the clocks changed. Thus, we did not rise until late morning. Yet, it was still Sunday so we weren’t in a rush, so we awoke slowly and meandered to Amersfoort train station, where we caught a train in to Amsterdam central to see some of the best modern art The Dam has to offer.
BANKSY: LAUGH NOW
After a chilled Saturday lunching and drinking in various parts of Amsterdam, in comparison we had a slightly stricter schedule for our Sunday in that we actually made some plans.
The Banksy exhibition is at the Moco Museum in Museum Square. Its houses modern and contemporary art exhibitions – currently the Banksy exhibit titled ‘Laugh Now’ and Roy Lichtenstein’s exhibition ‘Lasting Influence’. They’re within the same space so buying a ticket gives you access to both.
We bought our tickets in advance, online and I’m really glad we did because it was super busy. With work from artists as big as this, I can’t say I’m surprised but in reality it was very annoying. We got to walk round the non advanced ticket buyer’s queue (thankfully) but once inside it was still manic. The ticket wasn’t for a specific time as they normally are with other exhibitions which I think contributed to every room being way too full of people.
The art itself though was great to look at. I’ve always been a big fan of Lichtenstein. Once, while staying at the L’hotel in Montreal, which is owned by the head of Guess Jeans and filled with his amazing collection of art work, we stayed in a hotel room which had a Roy Lichtenstein on the wall and it was pretty damn cool. Of course I’m not trying to suggest a hotel room is better than this collection but in terms of hotel rooms, it was pretty damn good.
I’ve mostly only seen Lichtenstein’s pop art – this exhibition had paintings, advertising, photography, design and fashion. As well as, a 3D Van Gogh inspired room.
The Banksy Museum was also varied – with graffiti on various materials, including canvas, but also some of original items he chose to spray paint on to. Its pretty cool seeing all this though a bit weird seeing prints of things I had actually already seen in real life, like the policeman kissing mural, which is in Brighton, England, on the side of a pub in reality. I’d never thought about the fact that he would make more than one version of the graffiti.
All in all, its a great exhibit and put together very well. Its on different floors, designed well and has nice little touches, like their quotes up on the walls. Plus, even if it was put together badly, where else are you going to see a collection quite as extensive as this?
I would really recommending visiting… In the week, or early in the morning. Or after dark when its shut. Any time there are less people around. It really takes a lot of the pleasure out of seeing the art when there are so many people stood in front of it/squashing up next to you trying to force you out the way.
Plus, they have this mad giant rocking horse in the garden that you can climb on. So, there’s that…
The Stedelijk museum is right by the Moco Museum, making it an obvious choice for our next stop. And yours, if you are in the area. The Rijks museum is also nearby, so you could definitely manage three in the same day but we had already both been there recently so gave it a miss.
I do love a good modern art museum but in all honesty, I’ve forgotten a lot of what was in this one. Aside from these mad creatures…
Not long into us being there, I got a text message from the airline (KLM) we were flying with to tell us that our flight for the next morning had been cancelled (which had been specifically booked around being back at work on Monday).
We called them straight away and they first offered us a flight at 4pm the next day, then 6pm the same day (even though it was already half 4 and there was physically no way we could ever make that unless we were already at the airport) and then finally a flight 10 minutes after the original one the next morning. It was a little bit of effort getting it sorted, so we were quite relieved when it was and were suddenly very much in need of a beer.
We wandered round the Stedelijk a little more before going on a hunt for the beer we were desperate for. Based on the urgent circumstances, our quality bar for bars was set quite low – we went into a pub I do not remember the name of, which is lucky because you don’t need to hear it. You would know before visiting that it isn’t somewhere you want to go.
After a large beer, we got a pizza nearby and then went back to Amersfoort to meet my friend Karolina (who’s apartment she was kindly lending to us). Seeing as she lives there, she knows the good places and told us to meet her at the Stadscafe. Its on a super cute square in the historic district and really lovely and modern inside. Surprise surprise, we had some more beer in there as well as, a very nice chat with Karolina, before hitting the hay ready to get up before the sun the next morning.
I was panicking a bit about making our flight because there was only one train first thing early enough to get us there with some breathing space but all went well and we made it to the airport in good time. We boarded the plane nice and early, sat ready in our seats, content, until an announcement from the captain came over the tannoy telling us that our flight was going to be delayed by an hour because of fog.
All in all it was a really nice weekend away – we were super lucky with the weather and it was nice not to fit too much in for once, and to just have a chill time.
We’ll be releasing a vlog at some point, in the mean time out next trip… Estonia, will coming soon!
P.S. If you’re after some more ideas than I’ve provided with this short but sweet trip, check out some of my other Amsterdam blog posts where we visited a bunch of other places, like Rotterdam and Zaanse Schans.