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Last day of Amsterdam…

This is the last one.

I promise.
Then maybe we can talk about Majorca. And spring. And sunburn.
Our last day in Amsterdam was a bit of a half-day. We had to get to the plane by about six, and still wanted to check out NeMo- a sciencey place (being the nerds we are), and the Amsterdam Museum. So PowerWalking was required. 
We PowerWalked through check-out of our dreadful hotel.
We PowerWalked to the Central Station to drop off our bags.
We PowerWalked across the bridge towards NeMo.

And then we realised that Andy’s stomach was making increasingly angry sounds, so we slowed it all down and took in a massive and leisurely breakfast. Which included these delights:

… and which was undertaken in a suitably hipster location, with seriously cool Alien-esque light fittings 

To the NeMo!- the National Centre for Science and Technology on the (R)Oosterdok (I told you it’s a funny language).

As you probably guessed, NeMo is like Scitech.
But on speed.
Squared or to the power of eight or something!

I was stunned and amazed and in love with the sheer volume of science they were pushing at these kids, plus the incredible level of interactivity they managed for every exhibit, even when it came to trickier subjects like DNA and genetics.

I cannot think of a better way to ignite your kid’s passion for science. Everyone needs to go there now. If I ever have children, I will deposit them in this place and not let them come out until they have a PhD.

It is super!

Here are some of the cool things they had going on:

This one I think had a lot of science history, and described basic discoveries, such as the fact that meat cannot spontaneously generate maggots.

They had a specimen room, showing siamese twin monkey babies:

 and cow foetuses complete with placentae:

They had this awesome thing where kids had to concentrate beams of light onto little light-powered planes to make them fly around:

They had a massive water feature for the learning of hydro-power (and damning- very important for the Dutch!):

They had a Huge wall filled with different things and you had to guess if they were animal, vegetable or mineral. It included all these fossil-like, calcareous sea creatures and worms and their tubings… I had a go at a few and was incredibly bad at it:

They had this absolutely stunning game, which Andy attached himself onto and refused to let go of. It involved Making A Protein! You get given little chips with amino acid structures on them. When the chips contact the screen their amino acid appears and vibrates and twists. If you take the correct amino acid shown as the one required to build the protein, and move it to the terminus of your amino acid chain, the two ends react, and your chain grows!

If I was more articulate I could express how incredibly impressed I am that they made something like this interactive and fun.

They had a teenage area, which talked about pimples and hormones and sex and moodiness, and which included this creepy display in which you could put your arm into the tongue and french kiss a partner:

 Plus everything you needed to know about sex, and how to have fun doing it without getting pregnant:

 They had an interactive lab, running workshops starting every hour or so:

 And a cool ‘electrical’ section, which had this fancy glowing dress, which I covet deeply:

(You could change the led lights to make different colours and patterns. Plus it could flash!)

… and also an electric car, and explanations of the effect of usage on the environments, and suggestions about how to minimise waste:

And many, many, many more crazy-interesting-amazing-spectacular things. 
I can only say, if you’ve even heard of science, you should go. 
If you have children, you should go. 
If you have an inner-child, you should go. 
If you think you are all serious and adulty and know everything there is to know about science, you should go. 
(and you are wrong)
Alternatively, if you like going to the tops of tall buildings and checking out spectacular views, You Should Go!
NeMo looks like this from the outside:
(photo from wiki)
Which, a) is awesome architecture, especially for a science museum, and b) means you can sit in the restaurant on the roof, drinking hot chocolate, and staring out over Amsterdam.

Amster-DAHyum! (tehee)

We also headed to the Amsterdam museum. Unfortunately we didn’t have much time, so really had to run through. It’s primarily about the history of Amsterdam, and looked fairly interesting if you’re into that sort of thing. A lot or reading and information though, so not really something you can do in just over an hour.

Because of the rush I didn’t take many photos, unless something really stood out.
As we turned the corner to go into a certain room, I noted to Andy that something smelled fishy.
I mean, literally, fishy.

I’m sure some of you have seen the work of Hendrik Kersten before, and his photos of his daughter Paula, but if not, you should go and check them out online. Very, very cool.

If you’re into that, there’s a similar (slightly wackier and less polished) version by Nina Katchadourian- ‘Lavatory self portraits in the Flemish style’.
You can find them here: http://www.ninakatchadourian.com/photography/sa-flemish.php 

And this kid just has awesome style:

So that’s it for the Amsterdam museum. I can’t say much about it- you guys will just have to go and check it out for yourselves- and then get back to me on its level of awesomeness.

So we got ready to head to the airport, but not before we made the most of the food:

Yeah. I’m pretty sure there was at least one Oliebol in there too… probably I snaffled it before it could be photographed.

Goodbye Amsterdam!

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