One of the best things that you will experience when flying standby, is hearing the on-board announcement, ‘flight attendants prepare doors for departure!’ Once the cabin door securely shuts and the seat belt is fastened ‘low and tight around your hips…’ You’ll know you’re going…
With the hotel paid and all your reservations confirmed, you will feel secure in the fact that you’ve made your flight. Any anxiety of a tardy passenger bumping you from the last remaining seat, causing you to miss your departure… swiftly melts away! Trust me, you’ll be able to unwind and enjoy the ride.
When the jumbo jet pushes back from the gate and the turbo-engines begin to rev… There is no stopping you now… Oh yea, you’re going…
I really wouldn’t recommend an airport shuttle into Amsterdam Central unless of course you have considerable baggage, and don’t mind getting stuck in traffic. Besides, as I am sure all of you are familiar, full airport shuttles drop each visitor off at separate hotel’s strewn about the city… So you truly won’t really know whether you are going to be the first or last to arrive at your hotel, wasting valuable hours in the process.
Trains are much timelier, more efficient and conveniently located within Schiphol International Airport. The short commuter trek only lasts fifteen minutes to Amsterdam’s hotel district, and costs just €3.60 for a one way trip.
In Amsterdam, if touring the Anne Frank House is the first thing on your ‘to do’ list, you will definitely want to arrive earlier in the day. More than likely, there will be a time-consuming line to get into the museum.
Only a block away from the Anne Frank house is The Pancake Bakery, proclaiming itself as, ‘a world-known pancake restaurant loved by all.’ Accompany your morning delicacy with a European cappuccino. Together they will put a spring in your step, and tide you over for the wait to get in the Anne Frank experience.
Flowering Tulip Fields
Van Gogh Museum –
The world’s largest collection of Vincent van Gogh paintings are housed and stored in this famous ‘Seventy’s style’ museum. Currently ‘Picasso in Paris, 1900-1907’ is on exhibition running daily, February 18th through May 29, 2011. If travelling by public rail from the Amsterdam Central Station, take tram 2 or 5 to the Van Baerlestraat stop.
Often compared to the Musee du Louvre in Paris, the giant Rijksmuseum is the considered to be Amsterdam’s finest museum… Unfortunately due to long lasting hold-ups in renovation, displays are limited. So I encourage you to do your homework on this museum. Once there however, don’t forget to visit one of the two gift shops!
Also please note: the facilities do not have an eatery, however, many of the surrounding bistros may offer a fifteen percent concession.
When it comes to the value, the US dollar is still not standing up well against the Euro… So don’t be timid, ask for a discount and who knows, you may receive… Hey, every little bit begins to add up.
In my opinion, nothing tops the fashion and museum district for great shopping. Designer brands, fine dining, cultural entertainment and so much more…
It goes without saying, however that there is extensive browsing to be found in vibrant Dam Square.
What's more, be sure to stop and sample the street markets or take in a local art show! Who knows you may just discover the next Vincent van Gogh or stumble onto a beautiful and valuable piece of artwork.
The Waterlooplein Market located right in the middle of the city center is less traditional and more avant garde in its offerings. Nonetheless it is an enjoyable and laid-back shopping experience.
Europe is go, go, go…
Traveling in Europe tends to be all about go… Go, go, go… More than likely you will find yourself frantically scurrying from this landmark to that landmark!
I often enjoy hanging back, eating the bread of idleness and sipping from a glass of nice red wine at an open-air bistro... I cherish simply taking in the sights and sounds of Amsterdam as well as observing the locals in their own element… At some point, I would encourage you to do the same… and just disengage.