After a few minutes more walking we arrived at the entrance to the museum without the expected queue; just how I like it, in fact it felt like we had the place to ourselves. Wristbands on by way of entry tickets (the latest trend in museum visiting), we first headed outside to take a look at the ship ‘Amsterdam’. The Amsterdam is an 18th century ship moored outside the museum. The ship, though now a replica, was supposed to set off to the East Indies, but was wrecked in a storm on her maiden voyage in 1749 after setting off from the island Texel; up to this day her remains lay buried near Hastings.
It is hard to imagine the ship full of people, animals and cargo, which would have been typical of a voyage that would take around three months. Even almost empty as it is now it seemed cramped and claustrophobic. A few hammocks hung where, I guess, there would have been hundreds, and between all this animals of all varieties would have needed space, a pleasant cruise I'm sure it wasn't.
We left the Amsterdam happy to be able to stand upright again, now time to take a look at the Royal Barge (in Dutch: ‘Koningssloep’). Dutch King Willem I had the Royal Barge built in 1818. He never used it himself, though later royals certainly made up for it; flaunting their wealth along the river, Neptune guiding the way at the front of the barge. It has a certain grandeur though being showcased in a modern building with tv screens behind it looked a bit lost.