As I walked through the interior of Buckingham Palace, I could feel the grandeur and sense of royalty. Although photos are not allowed to be taken inside the Palace, I will paint a picture: Columns and ornamentation gilded in gold, walls lined with famous works of art, and extravagant crystal chandeliers are in every room. The ballroom held an exhibit of the current Queen’s fashion for the past 90 years. The attention to detail via beading and diamonds presented a work of art in every gown.
The London Eye, originally intended to be a 5-year installation for the millennium, has become such an iconic landmark along the skyline that the contract was extended to the year 2031. While riding the Ferris wheel, my eyes darted between the aerial view of the surrounding architecture and the structure of the “wheel.” My background in interior design keeps me equally intrigued by both, and encourages me to find beauty in our surroundings.
While visiting Amsterdam, we drove 45 minutes to the small town of Delft, which is world famous for its blue-and-white pottery called Delftware. The artistry behind painting the pottery takes 10 years of training and there are currently only 12 Master Painters. The ability to paint such small details on each piece was remarkable. To obtain the famous Delft blue color, the painter will use a black paint which will eventually change into blue during the second firing. Delft also has bragging rights for Johannes Vermeer, who is known for painting the “Girl with the Pearl Earring”.
The Netherlands is known for being the birthplace of Vincent Van Gogh, and Amsterdam is home to the Van Gogh Museum. The museum has a modern glass façade among the traditional architecture. Each painting exhibits his state of mind and his residence at the time. At one point, Van Gogh checked himself into a mental institution, where he was prohibited to go outside. He began painting nature from memory, teaching us that no matter where one’s physical being is, one can find the means to do what the heart desires. The museum also features a few pieces from modern artists, Kandinsky and Matisse, who are known for their abstract art. Surprisingly, their early works were landscapes inspired by Van Gogh’s technique for large, fast, and wet brushstrokes.
Copenhagen was the third city on our voyage and it was my favorite by far. The city’s cleanliness, sophistication, and sense of community showed how proud they are of their culture. The architecture is a mixture of Viking inspired, gothic/Romanesque, and neo-modern. I was captivated while strolling through this intimate city. The new “Black Diamond” public library showcases a geometric shape with black granite and glass, which contrasts the renaissance style of the Rosenborg Castle. The castle was originally built as a country summerhouse. What was most astounding was the untouched living conditions from the 1600-1700’s, which immersed me into the time period instantly.