This trip has been a while ago, September 2015 to be precise, but it has been a very special one for me. The last time I had set foot on a plane before this had been in late 2004.
One of my friends had her hen do planned on Tenerife the year after and insisted I had to come along or else. So we struck up a deal – a test run was needed so I wouldn’t go crazy on the plane (That was before I knew Tenerife is a cool 4 and a half hours flight away). So we were looking for a short flight, Paris was boring, neither of us fancied Dublin (sorry Ireland), so Amsterdam it was.
The flight is super quick, just 45 minutes in the air and apart from constantly talking to the guy next to me and pissing off his girlfriend in the process, I did really well. To teach me a little lesson about planes, we arrived to early so had to circle Schipholt at low altitude, waiting to land. Very similar to a car park on a Saturday just before Christmas. And we did not fall out of the sky. Amazing.
We had booked a room close to the centre with a guy called Frank which was lovely, although there was an occasional whiff of weed in the air. But hey, it was Amsterdam after all. We were incredibly lucky that the weather was balmy and pleasant so we spend a lot of time walking, just taking in the views and sometimes narrowly avoiding being run over by a tram.
We didn’t hit the big attractions like the Anne Franck House or the Rijksmuseum, mainly because we were a little unorganised and didn’t book in advance. Which is something I would highly recommend you do because the queues were insane. We visited the Tassenmuseum (handbags to you and me) which is rather amazing, not only if you like fashion but also architecture as the building itself is really beautiful inside. A tour of the harbour was quite fun as well, although I’m not entirely sure it was the best place for my friend to come up with a statement of perfectly well understanding how planes fly but being at a loss when it came to boats staying afloat.
Another place we visited was the Icebar, which was okay but not something I am going to repeat in a hurry. But then smelly, heavy jackets are not really my thing. At least now I can say I have been and am the proud owner of a few pictures of myself featuring polar bears and frozen pirates. Because you never know when you might need one of those. Hopping from one source of food and drink to another seems to have taken up a large part of our little trip but then sustenance is quite important when you hit your 10 000 steps by lunch time.
Overall it was a lovely little trip and definitely served its purpose – I have been flying regularly since. I still don’t like it much but I can handle it because there is so much of the world I want to see.