Airport to Amsterdam, Amsterdam
Transiting so many times through Schiphol, I fall in love with it.
After so many abnormal things I have seen in my early life, here is always a place where I am feeling one of the World’s citizen.
I spent a lot of time only observing all that colorfully mass of people coming from everywhere and going somewhere.
It should be mentioned that, first time when my wife arrived here she was so shocked that she just asked me to take her away as she felt dizzy and lost in that crowd…
When somebody discuss about the wealth of Nederland, I remind them that I have spent a fortune in Schiphol buying electronics and drinks and sweets and toys…
I will never be ready to count how much I have spent there on flowers only :)
If you have at least 5 hours of lay over at the airport, it will be an experience to go and visit the city of Amsterdam. Baggages can be stored at the lower level of 1 and 2 departure area.
Choose a locker of the size you like, they have big ones to fit 2 normal size luggages. Pay 7 Euros, lock the door of the locker and the ticket will come out. Be sure to keep the ticket, the bar code in the ticket upon scanning to the light will open the locker. Purchase a train ticket at the amsterdam terminal through the ticketing counter. Avoid the booth ticketing, you might a get wrong ticket and changing it to the ticketing counter might be a little bit disappointing. They will replace your ticket but with facial attitude. As an excited, tired passenger and trying to do it fast in the ticketing booth is actually a big mistake. Tourists make mistakes and I am sure these people knew it. A bad facial attitude make it worst. Train schedule is all day, night and early morning. We left the city to the airport at 3:30 AM and took us only 15 minutes.
When you have the pass controls and have your lugagge, you go out to the arriving hall, which is on the entrance..
There you can find your way of transport.. Either you walk to the front gate and take a cab, which costs around 40-50 Euro to the city center, or you can take a ticket and go downstairs to get a train to Amsterdam central..
One of the nicest airport in Europe is Amsterdam Schiphol airport.. When you arrive to Amsterdam you will realise that arrival hall and Departure hall lounges are the same place..
IIt has many cafes, somore than duty free shops, you will see food and beverage places.. The first floor has the rest places, waiting halls, Duty free shops and Cafes and when you go up, there are more cafes and restaurants there..
Favorite thing: Didnt get into the city but was at the airport for 5 hours , the airport is huge especialy when mu plane was changed to another boarding area i had to walk right over to theother side which takes an hour to walk.
Schiphol Airport, only 20 minutes by car from Amsterdam centre is centrallly located on the Motorway network in the country's urban agglomeration.
The Hague, Rotterdam and Utrecht are a short distance away, while the rest of the country is easily accessible via the A 1, A 2, A 4 and A 9 MOTORWAYS.
Schiphol can be reached by train from the Amsterdam city centre in 10 - 15 minutes...
There are also excellent rail connections with the airport from the rest of The Netherlands and abroad.
Furthermore, Schiphol has a stop for the High-Speed train to ANTWERP, BRUSSELS AND PARIS....
Train tickets are sold at the Netherlands RailWays counters and ticket machines at Schiphol Plaza - if you don't have coins for the machines, use the money changing machine at the Plaza.
Schiphol is located in a ramified network of local and regional bus connections.
KLM (Skyliner) and Martin Air (Skycoach) operate bus services to several German Cities, while Belgian bus company NECKERMANN operates bus services to ANTWERP AND BRUSSELS.
Everything is under one roof at Schiphol Plaza, the huge, covered square where all pedestrian traffic to and from the Airport converges: the railway station, the departure and arrival halls, and a shopping centre with 40 shops and food outlets.
Shops are open daily from 7AM till 10PM, incl. all public and national holidays.
The supermarket is open till midnight, while some food outlets are open 24 hours....
We started around 8:30 AM for the 3 1/2 hour drive to the airport in San Francisco. Got there with no traffic jams, parked our car with Skypark, shuttle to the airport, checked in our luggage, cleared security (not very intense, thankfully), got our flight at 3:30 PM, and away we go! Landed in Amsterdam around 11 AM, literally walked through Customs, and here we are at Schiphol Airport! Things looked a little familiar, since we had been here two years ago. We got some money and train tickets and boarded a very crowded train, with half of our luggage in my lap, to Centraal Station.
Fondest memory: When you get to Centraal Station you know you are in Amsterdam. It is an awesome building completed in the late 1800's, kind of new for Amsterdam!
we decided to head off to see more of this beautiful city..we explored for a while then decided we were both feeling kinda jet lagged so we made one last coffeeshop stop for the day. we headed off to the grey area. not expecting a seat i was shocked to find a whole row of bar seats empty, the only other people in there happened to be some guys we met at the airport on the way in to amsterdam...wow small world! i bought 2 grams of the cup entry which was suggested over the double bubblegum it was called grey haze..i also inquired about the kief i've heard so much about, john the dealer seemed shocked that i knew about it and ordered it. he told us to enjoy and gave me a bong from the collection. i knew this was gonna be interesting smoking kief hits out of the bong and hits off a spliff one of the guy's rolled with jet lag in full force! i was right, we both got trashed!!!!
Fondest memory: we needed food bad, so we went to a little place next door and ordered some fries since at that point it was all i could recognise on the dutch menu. after the much needed carbs we headed back to the b&b for a bit of sleep...did i mention that i my hands were shaking each time i approached the dealers counter today?? i still have that built in american fear of getting caught buying pot i guess. goodnight!
the day started pretty normal except for the 10,000 butterflies in my stomach. kevin took us to the airport ( kevin's my best friend ) our flight was a half hour delayed which was upsetting at first, but we still made our connection in philadelphia to amsterdam with time to spare. the flight was real long and really boring. being 6 foot 4 doesn't make airplanes much fun! we were supposed to arrive in amsterdam at 10:00am but made it in at 9:25am instead, bonus time for us!! schipol is a very nice airport, i've been to a few and i think this one takes the cake. very clean and seems to be a hangout for some people. i also noticed how easy it was for an american in a foreign airport to find our way around, we went down to the baggage claim and picked up our bag then headed over to the atm to withdraw my first euro's..i got some funny looking euro's and headed over to the change booth to break down the 50 euro notes ( less confusion that way ) we then went through customs and got my first stamp on my passport..whoo hooo! we headed off to get our tickets to central station, purchased those with little problems..the trains were much nicer looking than i imagined.we got into the train and headed off to amsterdam, no problems so far.
Fondest memory: . as we sat in anticipation for our big arrival the ticket agent guy's came into our car and asked for our tickets, we obliged and showed him our tickets. the younger of the 3 said in a firm voice," this is the first class train you have second class tickets" i shrugged my shoulder and apologized. the older one asked when we were leaving amsterdam? i told him we had 10 days there, he just told us to pay attention on the way back and that we could fininsh the ride in first class. the train conductor was announcing the different stops in dutch and not english, so that was making us slightly nervous not wanting to miss the stop..i knew what central station looked like in pictures but not in person..he did announce the arrival in english however. once we unpacked our jackets we were on our way. the moment we stepped out of central station all the planning and research went straight into the trash, i became overwhelmed very fast. i still can't explain why, i just got so absorbed i guess i freaked. we walked up damrak not really knowing if we wanted to find the bed and breakfast on our own or take a cab..we picked the cab option. i figured how hard could this be the name of our street is easy to pronounce no problem right? wrong! the cab driver acted like he never heard of such a street. turns out the J in dutch is silent so ja is pronounced ya and our street is called jacob catskade so it's not pronounced the same as how we would say it here. after showing him the map and pointing to the street he finally figured it out..of course he took the long way, we figured that out real soon..our b&b is a 20 minute WALK from central station he managed to drive for about 20 minutes. but who cares we're here and that's all that matters.
Fondest memory: My boyfriend lived close to Schiphol so we had planes in our 'front garden' basically all day. The day before we were flying on holidays I sat on our balcony in the sun the whole day watching planes because my 'Flying without fear' book said it would help me get rid of my fear. I don't know whether it helped, it was quite exciting to watch the big planes so close to our flat. Sometimes I thought they wouldn't make it!!! And when Colm came home I had a massive sunburn ;-)
For some reason, construction equipment was to be seen in abundance in the city...
One corner of the world where business is booming??