We didn't take any dolls with us however I took some Sasha knitting which I did in the car journeys. During our trip we discovered several doll treasures in various locations and of course pipe organs too.
We stayed in a town about 30 minutes drive from Amsterdam. The next morning we drove to Amsterdam, parked and went exploring. It was so hot that being outdoors in the streets was uncomfortable so we were soon in the Oude Kerk, Amsterdam's oldest building, where there was, at the time of our visit, a fascinating art installation by Giorgio Andreotta Calò - all the windows had been covered with red cellophane casting a dark room red light on the interior - it made the larger, beautiful pipe organ (restoration nearly complete) plus the hanging models of ships and chandeliers look very different from what they would normally look like in daylight. Apparently at night the interior of the church is lit so the windows shine red to the surrounding streets. The Oude Kerk is in the heart of the red light district of the city.
|Outside the entrance to Amsterdam's Oude Kerk|
|Red window and ship model hanging from the ceiling|
|The other model ship hanging from the ceiling of the Oude Kerk, Amsterdam|
|Chandelier in Oude Kerk, Amsterdam, in the strange red light|
|The main organ in Oude Kerk, Amsterdam, nearly complete (some pipes in the lower case still needed to be put back in position)|
|DollMum in Oude Kerk, Amsterdam|
The museum was fascinating and the little church very beautiful (on 3 levels in the upper part of the building).
|Admiring the scale model of Our Lord in the Attic|
|Scale model of Our Lord in the Attic|
|The hoisting wheel in the model of Our Lord in the Attic|
|The hidden Catholic Church of Our Lord in the Attic, on three levels - balconies for congregation right up to the roof|
|View of the altar from the top balcony|
|The small pipe organ in Our Lord in the Attic|
|View of Amsterdam from a window of Our Lord in the Attic|
Then we had a concert to attend so we walked in the baking heat to the Nemo Science museum where the concert was due to be held on the roof terrace. In the event, it was too hot and sunny to be safe for 50 young musicians to be outside for an hour with no shade (especially with their instruments) so the concert was held in the roof top restaurant, though they sang their last song outside.
The following day we avoided the young musicians completely because their concert was at a care home. So we went to the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam because I was keen to see some of the famous works of art which I had studied years ago in Art History classes at school and in an Open University course. I revelled in seeing some of Vermeer's works up close (they are truly incredible) as well as some of Rembrandt's wonderful paintings. In the gallery next to the Night Watch painting is a magnificent model of a ship, it reminded me of the fictional Dawn Treader (Narnia).
|Model of the William Rex, a 17th century Dutch warship|
|Model of the William Rex|
As explained by a label on the wall near the two houses, dolls houses were not playthings for children in the 17th century, they were a way of showing off the wealth and prosperity of some Dutch families.
|Label about Dolls houses at the Rijksmuseum|
|Painting by Jacob Appel of the dolls house of Petronella Oortmann, the famous baby house which inspired a novel|
|Petronella Oortmann's dolls house, with the handrail of the steps in front|
|Petronella Oortmann's dolls house: Bedroom|
|Petronella Oortmann's dolls house: red room|
|Petronella Oortmann's dolls house: palour|
|Petronella Oortmann's dolls house: narrow kitchen|
|Petronella Oortmann's dolls house: hallway|
|Petronella Oortmann's dolls house: coal and wood storage|
|Petronella Oortmann's dolls house: laundry room with miniature irons, laundry press and ceiling filled with clothes drying rack. There is some wonderful fine basketware in this room.|
|Petronella Oortmann's dolls house: Sitting room|
|Petronella Oortmann's dolls house: front kitchen with baby chair and cabinet of the best china|
|Petronella Oortmann's dolls house: close up of the padded baby chair which has toys to keep baby amused|
|Petronella Oortmann's dolls house: the empty birdcage - perhaps this inspired part of the novel|
|Peering into Petronella Oortmann's dolls house|
|Dolls house of Petronella Dunois|
|Dolls house of Petronella Dunois: bedroom|
|Dolls house of Petronella Dunois: pantry|
|Dolls house of Petronella Dunois: steps to storage, laundry room|
|Dolls house of Petronella Dunois: laundry room|
|Dolls house of Petronella Dunois: kitchen|
|Dolls house of Petronella Dunois: dining room|
|Dolls house of Petronella Dunois: parlour|
|Dolls house of Petronella Dunois: nursery|
|Dolls house of Petronella Dunois: ceilings|
In a gallery downstairs we discovered a huge exhibit dedicated to the maritime history of The Netherlands.
|Model ships in the Rijksmuseum|
|More model ships in the Rijksmuseum|
|A miniature ships galley (kitchen) in the Rijksmuseum|
|Yet more model ships in the Rijksmuseum|
Outside the Rijksmuseum it was still blazing hot, so we didn't pause long before returning to our car.
|At the entrance of the Rijksmuseum|
|Approaching the tunnel underneath the Nemo Science Museum|
|Boats in Volendam harbour|
|Dolls in traditional Dutch costume for sale in a shop window, Volendam|
|A mini exhibition of dolls in a shop window, Volendam|
|A doll dressed as a herring seller in the shop window, Volendam|
|More dolls in traditional Dutch costume in a shop window, Volendam|
|Dutch Street organ in Delft|
|The canal barge restaurant where we had morning tea and coffee before a rain storm drove us inside|
|Antique market beside Oude Kerk, Delft (the church where the Music Centre concert was held)|
|A Delft canal street|
|The main organ in Oude Kerk, Delft|
|The grave of Johannes Vermeer, Oude Kerk Delft|
|The main pipe organ in the Nieuwe Kerk, Delft|
|Painted wooden ceiling in Nieuwe Kerk Delft|
|The tomb of William of Orange (First of the Dutch Royal family to be buried in the Nieuwe Kerk)|
|The tower and carillion bells of Nieuwe Kerk, Delft|
|Delftware souvenir shops on the Market Square in Delft|
|View of the Oude Kerk Delft tower and our barge restaurant in the evening light, as we said goodbye to our Dutch friends|
The day after our trip to Delft we drove home through The Netherlands, Belgium, France and England, arriving back about 2 hours before the Music Centre children returned in their coach.
Back at home Nicholas James and Miranda changed out of their winter clothes (!) and examined our gifts we had brought from The Netherlands.
|Nicholas James and Miranda with the Delft ducks, clogs and tulips from Delft (not Amsterdam)|
|Delft duck (plastic), miniature Delftware clogs and duck|
|Tulips in their Delftware planters, perfect for the dolls|