11 May 2008


The Netherlands adventure began yesterday morning at 9:20 AM as we met in the parking lot of the former Lexington train station with our bags in tow. Predictably, someone arrived late but considering that we had eight hours of time between leaving Lex and when our flight was scheduled to depart, it didn’t really pose much of a problem. Murphy’s Law held true, and we made it to the airport and through security with no problems, leaving the group with about four
hours of time to kill before the flight left. I find
people watching in Dulles quite interesting, and yesterday was no exception, especially in the area of international departures where we waited. The KLM flight took off slightly late, but within five minutes of taking off, the seatbelt sign had already been turned off and we were allowed to get out of our seats! The flight ran pretty smoothly, although the food left a lot to be desired. The crew didn’t dim the cabin lights until about four hours into the flight, so that, combined with the three crying babies strategically dispersed around our group made sleeping pretty difficult. I finally managed to doze off for a couple of hours about halfway into the flight, but I’m definitely feeling the jet lag now - it also doesn’t help that the flight got in so early in the morning because it already felt as if it were early afternoon rather than early morning. Passport control and customs at Amsterdam Schipol was amazingly easy, even compared to the very lackadaisical approach I experienced at Barcelona Girona back in 2006. We took the train from Schipol to Amsterdam Centraal and from there walked to our hotel, an ordeal in and of itself. Since we arrived so early, we couldn’t check into our rooms yet, so we left our bags at the hotel and went out in groups to do some exploring. The plan was to visit the Anne Frank house and after getting our bearings we set out across town, only to arrive and find the line wrapped around the block. Since we had some time constraints in order to make it back to the hotel in time for check in, we decided to skip the museum and do some wandering and get lunch.Everyone, myself included, really began to drag after lunch, so we made our way back to the hotel and luckily were able to check in a little earlier than expected. After a long day of traveling, it felt wonderful to be able to shower and change out of my travel clothes! After showering and resting, we headed out to an amazing dinner followed by a boat cruise on Amsterdam’s canals. The people here are very into wine, and serve lots of it - we had multiple bottles on our table at dinner, and then more once we got on the boat! The attitude is a lot different than W&L and the US in general though because drunkenness is apparently frowned upon. Our boat tour of Amsterdam was wonderful and I got some very pretty pictures. However, by the end we were all incredibly tired since we’d been up for over 24 hours! We headed back to the hotel, and very quickly crashed.

No comments: