A Four Day Tour of Holland (17-20/08/09)

A group of ten from different parts of south England were the guests of a tour company doing a sales promotion by taking us on a short tour of Holland when we enjoyed superb hospitality.

We travelled by Eurostar to Brussels, then on to The Hague and from there by coach to Delft which was our base. It was basically a cultural tour. We were blessed with fine weather – an added bonus as there was quite a lot of walking about. Included in the programme was a walking tour of Delft, a visit to Haarlem and the Frans Hals Museum, a boat trip round the canals of the old university city of Leiden, the Royal Palace of Het Loo, in The Hague the Panorama Mesdag to view the immense panorama of Scheveningen painted in the late 1800s by Mesdag (not a well known tourist attraction, but very memorable) and the paintings at the Mauritshuis.

On the third day, after Het Loo, we visited the Kroller Muller Museum at Otterlo. This is a very modern establishment, light and airy, housing paintings and sculptures and more in a sculpture garden. The museum owes its existence to Helene Kroller-Muller, the daughter of a German industrialist. She married a Dutchman Anton Kroller in 1888 and began collecting decorative arts around 1905. Helene donated her entire collection to the Dutch State in 1935 to avoid losing it when the Kroller-Mullers were threatened with the loss of their estate during the great recession.

It was rather surprising that visitors were allowed to take photos of the paintings providing no flash was used. So here are some of the masterpieces exhibited. I regret the lop-sided results of my amateur photography.