60 Years Ago Today

Monday, 18 August 1952:

At 6 a.m. the hotel desk called us too early. Horrors! We scurried back to bed till 7 a.m. or so for more sleep. Breakfast was at 7:30 a.m. and we didn’t have time to shower, but the kids on the top floor did however.

Then it was time to decide whether we wanted to go on a boat trip at 9:15 a.m. or an art museum at 10 a.m. I decided on the latter along with Elo. With our extra time we trotted around trying the doors of shops until we finally found one open. I purchased a pencil, which I’m using right now, and a little tablet dealy.

Elo and I got a clue about Rembrandt’s house so we proceeded to try and find it. We picked up a guide at the Clock Tower and as a result got there in a round about fashion. I identified a likely spot where Brother Avery might have gone barreling in the mossy brine of the canal. Along the way we passed canal barges loaded with junk scrap metal. At the market place they sold all kind of junk instead of food like most others we had seen.

As Rembrandt’s house was closed when we got there we gazed at the outside, which was quite unpretentious. Then we got rid of our guide and looked for a spot to catch the trolley and ended up at Neve Market. After we caught trolley 11 and thence transferred to trolley 7 we got off practically at the door of the museum with 10 minutes to spare.

We caught sight of Virginia down the street gazing in a window, so we ducked in a doorway and stood there grinning from ear to ear when she came by. We had to wait a few minutes to get in the museum, so we walked through the big archway to see the back of the building.

It was a pretty big museum. As a crowd was waiting to get in the museum we saw that several other members of our mob found their way here too. The famous paintings we saw inside are listed in the back of my Amsterdam guide book.

During the tour we unfortunately discovered that the Van Gogh paintings were in another museum, Stedibjk Municipal Museum to be exact. Our time was almost gone as we hurriedly tried to find the other museum according to the guides information. However, there were many buildings behind the museum and we didn’t know which building it was. I asked a couple of ladies, but they turned out to be tourists too.

Then we found a lady that wasn’t a tourist. She didn’t understand at first, but soon we came to a mutual understanding and she directed us to the right building. It was a miracle. We found it! So we had a running jump through the museum, but not clear through it. Though we did see most of the Van Gogh paintings and some other important artists.

A girl at information directed us to a trolley. We were already ten minutes late so we ran to catch the trolley when we discovered it was going the wrong way. The next trolley going the right way came soon after. Here we were right across from the Kursael or Concert Hall. It seemed like an awfully slow trolley. When we finally came running and puffing into the dining room most of the kids were on their second course. At any rate, due to the good timing by the waiter, with a delay in serving desserts for the rest of the mob, we ended up finishing at the same time together.

At about 1 p.m. or shortly thereafter we were off to Rotterdam. We stopped at American Express across from the Royal Palace. Bev had a letter from Elder Elton about tapestries, but he had been transferred. We picked up Ione at the Hague. The Hague which means hunting grounds, was the capital of Netherlands and the seat of the World Court.

Ione was waiting with Claire right by the Peace Palace. I ran over and stuck my nose inside the Peace Palace which was built in 1913. A man wanted us to pay even for that small privilege. A donation was given by Carnegie for the overall cost of the Peace Palace. He gave 1½ million to help build the beautiful gardens, marble staircases and an elaborate lobby. It is older than the League of Nations. Over three million people live around the Hague.

As we came into Rotterdam we passed through a large housing district and sighted our hotel before we had wandered half as far as we usually do. We were staying at the Atlanta Hotel, but first we had to deal with our baggage problem.

Afterwards, we found out there was an American Express just down the street. I thought I was following Herr Rogers and Watkins to the said American Express, but I found myself down the street in the wrong direction. An accommodating young man helped to get me started in the right direction. In fact, he practically walked me to the door. Just for kicks, I asked for mail in the mail depot. Well, whatta ya know! A big fat surprise with a letter from the Hoyts.

Then I found my way back to the bus. Not everyone was there, but we went anyway. We traveled through the Maas Tunnel which was a fine example of Dutch engineering skill. There were six tunnels with two tunnels each for cars, bikes, and pedstrians with each tunnel going one way.
En route we ran into a little unexpected difficulty as Andre came close enough to almost hit a little girl either on foot or on a bike. When our baggage problem was finally taken care of we went back to our “neaty” hotel. There was a bathtub in each room. Yea!

From our short travels through Rotterdam I could see that the heart of the city had been completely destroyed by Hitler and vast reconstruction was in process. This was the birthplace of Erasmus, a classical theologian scholar and celebrated philosopher. We ended up at an open cute little restaurant, Erasmus, which was not far from the hotel. There was an Erasmus statue in front of the restaurant and I had a fish dish called Erasmus. Funny heh? Near the hotel I noticed An American in Paris was playing at a movie theater. Then I lost one of my one ounce copper earrings and went back to the cafe looking for it.

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