European Getaway: Brussels and Amsterdam Spring 2014
The third week of March 2014, I left for my annual week-long jaunt across a few European capitals. On this particular occasion I descended upon Brussels ( I've driven through the Belgian countryside but have never actually visited) and Amsterdam. Upon my first arrival to Brussels, I immediately headed to the Magritte Museum located at Place Royale and part of the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium. The entire museum (opened to the public in 2009) is dedicated to the Belgian Surrealist and houses his life's work, along with his other contemporaries including Paul Delvaux and Giorgio Di Chirico, on three floors. After two leisurely-filled days of museum-hopping, a day trip to the medieval city of Bruges, and hefty portions of carbonade flamande, I then traveled by high-speed train to Holland. Amsterdam is a vibrant city which accommodates all lifestyles. Since I tend to focus on art, shopping, and cuisine when I visit a new city, this city highly appealed to my sensibilities. A trip to Museumplein included visits to the newly opened and renovated Rijksmusuem (national museum containing Old Master paintings by Vermeer and Rembrandt) and the Stedelijk Museum (contemporary art museum currently showing a Jeff Wall exhibit). For the next several days I proceeded to indulge in endless shopping at cheap vintage boutiques, delectable Dutch food, and smartly-curated magazine shops.