Local Heart, Global Soul

June 19, 2016

Only One Thing Maars Our Visit…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

First an apology becuase my drug infused brain didn’t realise that I had labelled six additional “preperation” posts with the same date as yesterday’s one so you ended up with one real post and six empty ones. I’m sorry, I should check these things better. meanwhile to today:

I have been delighting in my first visit to Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum,  my eyes opening wider and wider with every new discovery, and in awe of many of the  amazing works, not just the world famous paintings that are displayed as the prominent draw-cards for locals, scholars, artists and tourists.

Amazingly I have not even covered one entire floor of the three that the museum offers, nor seen some of the special exhibits and exhibitions that change throughout the year.

The use of a wheelchair made my visit possible, attempting to cover this amount of distance and space on crutches would simply have not been remotely possible.

I have to mention one criticism though and it’s a big one: We asked twice where the public toilets were and both times were directed to the basement floor.

Getting there in the wheelchair wasn’t as easy as it sounds, it was a busy day and there was a queue of people waiting for the lifts, some were older, some had push-chairs and I was (at that moment) the only wheelchair user in the queue, but or some reason there were what (appeared!) to be lots and lots of able bodied people queuing for one of the two small lifts too.

A few accompanying family members I could understand, but the waiting crowd was such that I to wait for the fifth time that the lift came to our floor before I could get downstairs to the public toilet area.

Once there, I was also disappointed: it appears that there is only one set of lavatories for the public in the entire building, so needless to say there were queues here too.

Worse still there seemed to be only one solitary disabled toilet outside in the corridor, and not only did I need to wait ages for one seemingly fit middle-aged gent to exit, when I got in with the chair, the toilet was really small and no sooner had I closed the door when someone on the outside started jiggling the handle very thirty seconds or so.

I called through the door that it was occupied, but they still kept rattling the door handle.

In spite of limited mobility and space, I finished as fast as I could, and when I exited I was met by an impatient middle lady who I judged to be in her sixty’s, very smartly dressed in pearls and a tailored suit who frowned at me and pushed past in an unmistakably rude manner to go in with a gusto that in no way suggested disability. Of course I am one of the first to admit that disability is not  always visible but sometimes you just get the idea that some people think that queuing in the crowd for  the “regular” toilets is beneath them and it was this rather than genuine need that I felt strongly on this occasion.

I realise fully that this a historic building and that some alterations have to work around the building itself but since the Rijksmuseum has just been closed for a ten year renovation and new areas have been added, it seems inconceivable that the toilet facilities are so cramped and so few for the large numbers of visitors in the building.

I do have to say however that this is my only significant gripe with the entire museum, and the galleries where the paintings are get top marks. My friends and I escape the toilet queues and head back up to the new inner enclosed “courtyard” area. There we spy statues modelled around Greek mythology themes… yet another positive thing to admire as our visit comes to a close.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Amsterdam: Rijksmuseum

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