Saturday September 22, 2018

On Saturday afternoon I did something I’ve always wanted to do: I bicycled through the Rijksmuseum.

To be clear, I didn’t know I wanted to do this until Friday night. That’s when I heard about the generous wide sidewalk and fietspad – bike lane – that cuts straight through the huge Rijksmuseum edifice at ground level. My host for my stay in the Amsterdam area occasionally works at the Rijksmuseum in her capacity as an interior designer. She related the story that one of the recent directors of the museum thought they should do a major renovation to capture more space, and the plan called for the closing of the traditional thoroughfare through the centre.

At this news the fietsers – cyclists – rose up in determined opposition. “We’ve always ridden through the Rijksmuseum,” they said. The museum had to back down on that renovation plan – there are, after all, some things that are more sacred than art!

The pedestrian and bicycling concourse through the centre of the Rijksmuseum.

On Saturday morning when I biked into Amsterdam from the north, the Rijksmuseum was my number one destination – to be more precise, the bike route through the museum was my destination. To add to the excitement of this rite of passage, there were very talented street musicians playing a lively version of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, on two violins, two accordions, and a string bass.

Top photo: the Rijksmuseum viewed from the south. The pedestrian/bicycle concourse goes through the arch in the centre of the photo.