Banksy in Amsterdam

As we’re still in lockdown and I will be until at least the end of July, I thought it would be good to reminisce about holidays past, and for the first one we’re off to Amsterdam in February 2019. It was our second visit to this fun city and as you can see, the brats weren’t that keen on us going without them.

We flew from Inverness Airport to Schiphol Airport which is the third busiest airport in Europe. It’s a really well designed airport with the train station part of the building, so we could get the train straight into Amsterdam Central Station.

What was the first thing we did when we got off the train? Have a coffee and a sweet treat – don’t worry, it’s not one of the weird cookies that you get in some cafe’s in Amsterdam.

We arrived a few days before Valentines Day so everywhere was decorated with love hearts – perfect for the two of us.

One place that we both wanted to visit was Moco Museum which is a modern contemporary art gallery in an old house.(

The reason we wanted to visit was because there was a Banksy exhibition on, and I’m a huge lover of street art. In case you haven’t heard of him, Banksy is an anonymous British graffiti artist and political activist whose art has appeared all over the world.

I love this quote that they had painted on one of the walls, as it’s very thought provoking. Art is such a subjective thing, with everyone having different tastes and finding different meaning in the art they observe.

There were also other artists featured throughout the gallery, including Roy Lichtenstein who was an American Pop artist. Below is Lichtenstein’s Bedroom at Arles which was based on Vincent Van Gogh’s painting of the same name.

Surprise – the museum has turned the painting into a 3D experience which you can walk into. Here’s my beloved becoming part of the artwork. It was quite weird being able to walk around a painting that was so familiar to us.

Here’s some more of the art that was in the gallery.

One of my favourite rooms was the Amethyst Ball Cavern by Daniel Arsham – in the photos it looks more blue, but I promise you it was a beautiful purple colour. There is a big mirror so that you can take selfies in the cavern.

I think my favourite artwork in the gallery was this one by OSGEMEOS who are identical twins from Brazil and is entitled The Long Way Home. Their art is well known for its yellow skinned characters, and I just love this one. It was really big in quite a small room, hence I couldn’t get it all in the photograph.

There was also art outside in the grounds of the museum, and here’s just a few of them for you to enjoy. The large egg has wish pins all over it that people get in the museum gift shop, and by adding their pin they become part of the artwork which was created by Marcel Wanders.

This piece is called Refugees Are Welcome and is by Icy and Sot who are brothers originally from Iran. The image represents a family who have managed to break free and are now on the safe side of the border. At the top of the wall that is now behind them is barbed wire with flowers entwined in it.

Here we are as a couple of flying monkeys.

Amsterdam is a really great city to wander around as there is always something to catch your interest. One thing that they are definitely not short of is bikes – they are everywhere, along with huge bicycle parking lots.

The hotel we stayed in was gorgeous, called the Room Mate Aitana, and it overlooked the harbour. One of the nights we decided to treat ourselves and eat at their restaurant, where the food was nearly too pretty to eat.

Here’s Ken collapsed on our huge bed at the end of a fun but tiring day. The bed was so big that it didn’t matter that I sleep like a starfish and Ken steels the duvet.

There is so much more to show you of Amsterdam, but I’m going to spread it out over a few posts. Stay tuned for a museum devoted to cats – of course I would find something that wonderful.

A last photo for today is another Banksy piece. A child sitting in a bleak world, wearing a gas mask, but looking out to flowers and sunshine. I thought it was really fitting for the world we find ourselves in now.

Stay safe my friends and I leave you with this incredible poem by Prince Ea.

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