On 23 of March, a large group of Year 10 students, Mr Norman, Mrs Horsfield and Mr Thornton sleepily boarded a plane that would take them to Amsterdam: the city of tulips and bicycles and clogs and much more.
The whole purpose of this trip was to explore many different styles of art, from baroque to post impressionism to modern art!
After dropping our heavy luggage off at the Meninger Youth Hostel (which was well structured and capacious), we quickly boarded a tram to go to the city centre. Stereotypes converged on this journey as we saw the canals, bicycles and tall buildings lining the city.
We then had lunch in the surroundings, and strolled around in the beautiful sun-lit park.
We regained our strength and at half past one quickly made our way to the Stedelijk museum of modern art. After we had walked into the beautifully designed white museum, we were free to roam around amongst the array of sculptures, photographs and even arrangements. It was extremely interesting to see how differently artists expressed their opinions of what emotions and art should be.
Feeling more refreshed, at 15:40, it was time to take a boat tour of the city through the canals. We sat peacefully, painting the views with the set of inks we had been given and listening to the tour guide’s facts about the city of tulips.
Since we had had a heavy day, we immediately returned to the Meininger hostel, and had an early dinner before retreating to our beds.
The next day, after a buffet breakfast, we once again made our journey to a museum by tram. At this point, it was clear that Amsterdam is extremely eco-friendly; the most common means of transportation was tram or bicycle and seldom do people drive.
Anyway, the museum that we were visiting first was the Body Worlds Museum. The general initial reaction to this concept was not enthusiastic, as it is a museum exhibiting the unskinned bodies of humans and unborn foetuses. However, as we got used to the idea, strolling through the dimly lit rooms and watching corpses in the most extreme of positions it became less absurd and more like looking at art. There can be no doubt that the exhibition presented a very thought provoking and impactful statement.
Having reached midday, many of us went to the cafés for lunch, before we would proceed to the Foam museum of photography.
The setup of the place was certainly gripping, as it had odd and quirky arrangements of staircases and artwork. When I say artwork, I mean photographs, for the gallery displayed mainly photos; they captured poverty, natural beauty, ideas of war, and many other raw topics.
Using our books again, we sketched and depicted the aspects of the gallery most personally captivating to each of us, before returning to our hostel to freshen up.
We then made our way once again to central Amsterdam, and had a dinner of burgers, salads and fries in the smoky atmosphere of the Hard Rock Café. For a while proceeding it, we strolled through the shop as rock music set a pleasant atmosphere, and explored some tourist shops, purchasing interesting, controversial and memorable souvenirs.
As it was dark and we had a busy day in front of us, in due course we advanced to reach the Meininger, once again, and sleep.
Day three met us with a roar as we marched our way through the main Museum street to the impressive building of the Rijks museum. We saw a huge variety of different types of artwork here ranging from furniture, goblets and paintings. Stuffed to the brim with rich colours and textures some of us even dared to sample the carrot cake in the museum restaurant. It was a winner.
However, carrot cake does not fill a growing teenager and under the guidance of our three teachers, a shopping trip was organised off to the nearest supermarket. Cheese, bread, crisps, fruit, pop and chocolate was bought and consumed at Vondelpark. This is where we were introduced to the local hungry geese and within 5 minutes, Noah was edging his way around the lake precariously trying to retrieve the football. Finding a quiet spot we spent time painting before we returned to the Hotel to prepare for the evening meal of our choice.
Monday our final day, having packed up our rooms and storing our bags we visited the Van Gogh Museum that was immense. It covered every period of his life and in a strange way although his life seemed quite dark and turbulent the museum danced with colour. A few more souvenirs for home and off back to the hotel. A final group meeting revealed winners to the trip competitions that covered best tourist, quintessential Amsterdam, most tackiest object and lots more.
Many great memories were made on this trip and it was certainly packed to the brim with Art and more Art. A great city I know many of us will go and visit again.
By Condoleezza Davidson and Antonia Robson, BGS Pupils
“Many great memories were made on this trip and it was certainly packed to the brim with Art and more Art.
A great city I know many of us will go and visit again.”