Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Windmills and Weapons





No, the title isn't a Don Quixote reference.  Whether it's sunsets in my hometown, jets and those sunsets, or Tuesday trivia, I tend to like using alliterative titles.  That being said, I realized I had not previously posted many pictures of from my tremendous trip to Amsterdam last year.  It was actually part of a 8 day Rhine River Cruise that started in Lucerne Switzerland, heading North through France and Germany, terminating in Amsterdam Netherlands where we spent an additional 3 days touring the city.

Molen Van Sloten Windmill and Museum

My Beautiful Wife (MBW) (yeah, borrowing a similar moniker from Juvat) was very interested in seeing some Dutch windmills.  Plenty of companies were willing to take plenty of my euro money for a package tour, which would have included a bus ride to/from the site, entrance fees, and a guided tour in English, which everyone in Amsterdam seems to speak very well anyway.  I'm not at all interested in paying someone exorbitant amounts of money for something that I knew I could do on my own.  I jumped on the google machine and discovered that a tram ride to Molen Van Sloten, an actual working windmill, not just a tourist prop which the tour companies push people towards, would only run us 1.90 euro each way.  Another 10 euro each to get into the windmill and museum, and we had the same experience that the unwitting tourists did.  While we don't mind the guided tours and such, we like straying off the beaten path and finding out own way.  We did it in Italy, getting wonderfully lost in Tuscany, earlier that same trip in Lucerne "climbing" Mount Pilatus, and pretty much everywhere we travel.  I just do a little research, figure out the best way to get there, and make our own adventures.  Things sometimes go wrong, but the stories are better.


The tram down from Mt. Pilatus.  Cogwheel Train up the other side.




The museum grounds have several models of other working windmills in the Nederlands.

A mill on a polder canal Paul Joseph Constantin Gabriël, c. 1889
This last windmill was a painting in the collection of the Dutch National Museum.  While not as large as the Met in NYC or one of the Smithsonian museums, it's an amazing museum in it's own right.  One reason I enjoyed it so much is that it has two metric butt-tons of weaponry.  I could have spent days and days in there and taken a thousand photos, but I did get quite a few.

Source
How much exactly is a metric butt ton?  I'll let them describe it.
The Rijksmuseum has a weapon collection of nearly 1,600 pieces, divided into four categories: firearms, guns, armor and the so-called white weapons (such as daggers, sabers and swords). The pieces are mainly of Dutch origin, but the museum also has a number of exotic weapons. Among the firearms are mainly 18th and 19th century specimens, but also more modern weapons. Many weapons have really been used in battle - some even by celebrities such as Napoleon and Michiel de Ruyter - but a large part is richly decorated and, for example, served as a diplomatic gift.  The collection of more than 1800 items of marine models includes a number of special ship models, but also a reference collection of half models, patent models and preliminary studies that the navy used in the 19th century for the construction of new ships and the instructions of its crew. In addition to this extensive collection of technical scale models, the collection also consists of flags, weapons, instruments and maritime curiosities.                                                                        Source
FK 23 Bantam




This was a interesting piece- a large chess set commissioned by Adolf Hitler.  The pieces were all weapons of war, with a Zepplin and a cannon as the King and Queen.  The photo was through Plexiglas so getting it to focus was challenging.  Here's one I lifted from the interwebs.



The same Armor and Weapons section had many similar themed paintings that I'm sure Sarge would appreciate.  The one above is titled "The Explosion of the Spanish Flagship during the Battle of Gibraltar" by Cornelius Claesz van Wieringen, dated 1621.  Below is one I could easily see in one of Sarge's posts.  It's " The Yellow Riders" a mounted artillery corps, by George Henrik Breitner, 1885.




This is a gigantic painting by Rembrandt and I really enjoyed seeing it.  It's 11 feet by 14 feet and is probably the most famous painting in their collection.
Militia Company of District II under the Command of Captain Frans Banninck Cocq,[1]also known as The Shooting Company of Frans Banning Cocq and Willem van Ruytenburch, but commonly referred to as The Night Watch (DutchDe Nachtwacht), is a 1642 painting by Rembrandt van Rijn. It is in the collection of the Amsterdam Museum but is prominently displayed in the Rijksmuseum as the best known painting in its collection. The Night Watch is one of the most famous Dutch Golden Age paintings.                              Wiki
 It's so famous that it has been recreated in a park with life-sized statues set in the same position as the painting.  This is me getting acquainted with Captain Cocq.





The Fleet
The model collection of ships was superb.  I had to be dragged away by MBW several times as I was meticulously pouring over every intricate detail of the ship collection.  Considering the long nautical history of the Dutch, a great ship collection is to be expected.  I don't think I captured half of it.

Ship model William Rex, Adriaen de Vriend, Adriaen Davidsen, Cornelis Moesman, 1698








This was one of the more interesting exhibits I saw.  It was the cut out of a ship model, but with holographic images inside the various spaces of the ship, depicting a little of what the crew did aboard.  

While the Rijksmuseum was great to visit, it actually pales in comparison to the Met's collection of weaponry which numbers 14000.  I've only been there once, and it was a very short visit so I'll have to go again.  Same for the Smithsonian museums, Udvar Hazy at the top of that to-do list.  Our foreign trips are over for a while and we expect to visit NYC and DC in the next couple of years.  I'll be sure to take lots of pictures. 

The Lion(s) of Lucerne (Also the name of a great book by Brad Thor by the way)
Well, that's enough pictures for today.  Ok, guilt assuaged.  At least temporarily.


Guilt?  If you are curious what d'fuyk I'm talking about, see my last post. 

25 comments:

  1. If you look through the stern windows of the 2 decker with the gilt stern, do they have a LED glowing soft blue, to simulate the unshielded after reactor, so common in ships of that era?

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  2. Lots of hours into that 2 decker model. Nice to be able to tour some of Europe without the jet lag, thanks Tuna! Any more photos from Lucerne and along the Rhine?

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    1. Just a few here: https://oldafsarge.blogspot.com/2018/09/and-now-for-something-completely.html Seeing how that's all though, maybe I should do a regular post about it.

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  3. Great post! Love your travelogues!

    The ship models are exquisite. Truth be told, I always get a bit misty-eyed when I see the Lion of Lucerne. Our own Mark Twin had this to say -

    The Lion lies in his lair in the perpendicular face of a low cliff — for he is carved from the living rock of the cliff. His size is colossal, his attitude is noble. His head is bowed, the broken spear is sticking in his shoulder, his protecting paw rests upon the lilies of France. Vines hang down the cliff and wave in the wind, and a clear stream trickles from above and empties into a pond at the base, and in the smooth surface of the pond the lion is mirrored, among the water-lilies.

    Around about are green trees and grass. The place is a sheltered, reposeful woodland nook, remote from noise and stir and confusion — and all this is fitting, for lions do die in such places, and not on granite pedestals in public squares fenced with fancy iron railings. The Lion of Lucerne would be impressive anywhere, but nowhere so impressive as where he is.

    — Mark Twain, A Tramp Abroad, 1880


    A monument to those who died with great honor.

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    1. It is a very moving statue.

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    2. It is a very somber monument. To some very great warriors. One of those soul-gazing creating monuments, once you know the story.

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  4. Question about the biplane. Is the pilot's head above the top wing? There looks to be about 5 inches or so between the top rim of the cockpit and the wing itself. Not going to be much visibility if he's underneath the wing.

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    1. Looking at other photos of that aircraft (only 15 were built I believe) the pilot's head is above the wing, there is a cutout in the wing over the cockpit.

      Visibility below still must have sucked.

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    2. Uhh, what Sarge said! Sorry, I didn't get any closer pictures. MBW must have been glaring at me by that point.

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    3. Yes, there’s literally a hole in the wing that the pilot sticks his head out of, so he can play whack-a-mole with the Hun.

      http://www.idflieg.com/lelystad_BAT_FK23_Bantam.htm

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    4. Since he probably didn't stick his head way out (Cold out there), the apparent wing size would block pretty close to 50% of the bubble. Maybe that's why only 15 were built. Pilots were saying "No way, Jose!"

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    5. I heard it was a Union contract dispute!

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  5. Sweet!
    Nice to know those travel tips, too.
    Thanks!

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    1. I plan ahead of time, but no plan survives first contact with my wife.

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  6. Some outstanding photos Tuna. A most informative post. I eagerly await future posts from you with more tales of your travels.

    Thanks for the post.
    Paul L. Quandt

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    1. Well, I have a Napa wine tour in May and an Alaskan cruise in July. Pictures to follow.

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    2. On which line are you cruising?

      Paul

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  7. Very nice.

    'White', by the way, means... polished. So when you see a reference to a white harness in an armour catalogue, it means a polished suit. Versus 'blacked' (either laquered black or actually sooted black (using very greasy candleblack)) 'browned' (lightly rusted then oiled, produces a beautiful brown finish) or 'blued' (like the blueing on a gun, using oil and heat to bond the oils to the surface.) 'White' in armor means you have people to polish your armor which means you have money (or slaves..)

    Very nice. Makes me almost want to leave the country on a trip. Almost.

    And makes me wonder if those cast gun models are actually fireable. No almost there, wanna try. Wanna try a lot!

    The way you and your wife travel is the best way. The 'We must be here in X days otherwise we'll wander' is so much fun, and allows for definitely getting off the beaten path.

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    1. Agree. We had things we wanted to see, but no set itinerary, exploring where and what we wanted.

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  8. Most enjoyable! Thanks for sharing. Those models look wonderful, what patience!

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    1. Thanks Dave. I can only take credit for the pictures though, not the models. ;)

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  9. I hope someone noticed the alliterative language I used in that opening paragraph. I thought I was being quite quippy.

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  10. Beautiful pics, glad y'all are enjoying the trip!

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Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)