Where are we?

Arrived in Amsterdam

Well I think I have some time to catch up on the blog from the last few days :)

We arrived at the Edmonton airport early because we had to drop off our truck at the storage yard at Glowing Embers - where we also have our trailer stored. Margriet also drove out there and once the truck was parked we headed to the airport.  Got there just before 2:30 for a flight leaving at 6:20pm :) We went to the ticket counter and was told it would be opening in 5 minutes. No one else was there so we were the first in line!! Never had that happen before :) Found out a few days ago from friends that had just returned from Germany and used Icelandair that their baggage charges are outrageous - $95US at the counter!! But if you pay online its ONLY $76US! PER BAG!  So now the "cheap flight" is getting a little more expensive. Plus we found out that there is NOTHING served free. For that reason we made sandwiches before leaving home :)  I refuse to pay $11US for a sandwich (menu was online and you can order early and save 20%)
Unfortunately you cant see the writing on the plane but it does show Icelandair
Anyways ..... we arrived at the Iceland airport with no problems and not hungry after all the food we packed LOL!!  Once there we had to deplane and go thru immigration (first stop in EU) and board a different plane.  Immigration went quickly - probably because it was 6am their time! - and since we didnt have to pick up our luggage we just had to walk thru the small terminal and get ready to board for the next leg. It took 6 hours to fly to Iceland and now we have a 3 hr flight to Amsterdam.

Walking through the terminal we found it very busy for so early in the morning. We get to our gate and everyone is standing and squishing into the area- there is no seating. There is a sign above the gate area directing people for general boarding to the right and priority to the left - but everyone was just standing behind the ribbons of the queue area. So me being me thought that was silly - why not just walk thru the queue area and be ready when the attendant comes to check our passports etc before boarding. So I did and of course Dwayne and Margriet followed, along with about 10 others. But it wasn't long before everyone thought they should line up. So here we were again first in line! But not to board the plane but to board a bus to take us out to the plane.  The terminal is way to small for the number of planes flying in and out! Not only that but when the attendant came to let us go thru the automatic boarding pass checker - she had to yell out the instructions because there is no PA system in this part of the terminal!! LOL!! Think by the end of her day her throat must be sore!
Think we saw Santa Claus on vacay in Iceland!
So we all get on the bus and then board the plane which is parked WAY out on the edge. Similar to how they board in Puerto Vallarta, MX where passengers there also get bussed out to the plane. Anyways boarding went fast and off we go. I had about an hour sleep on the first leg but now the sun is starting to come up so sleeping it not going to happen. Same with Dwayne and Mar. But at least the movies are free on Icelandair so I watched Pulp Fiction (1994) a movie I haven't seen in YEARS!  John Travolta looked pretty good back then!! 😉

We arrive in Amsterdam at around noon - hard to really figure out the time! We wonder around looking for the shuttle bus to take us to the hotel, but think we should have something to eat before we leave - and of course first thing we see are frites (fries) and different sauces - mayo being #1. Like Vincent says in Pulp Fiction "you know that in Amsterdam they serve mayonnaise with fries?!"  Actually the sauce is close to mayo but tastes a little different. My favourite is mayo and a sweet curry sauce :)  We also bought kroket (google it - to hard to explain :) and split it. After that treat it was time to find the shuttle.

We go outside the terminal and see lots of shuttles but none for Ramada Inn. I asked one of the other drivers and he said it was further down the way. So we walk down the sidewalk and wait. Luckily Dwayne noticed the shuttle, but it was ACROSS the road! Good eye Dwayne! There was no information anywhere I could find stating where the shuttle actually parks. So we quickly grab our suitcases and cross the road - get the bags into the van and get inside. 10 mins later we are at the hotel.

Not a bad room - 3 beds - all singles (which seems to be the norm in Holland)  2 singles together make a double but they still have separate duvets- that way no one can HOG the blankets! LOL!! Works for me :)  Priced at $172Can

I should have taken the pic when we first arrived - much neater then :)
We get comfortable and watch some TV but I keep reminding the other 2 not to fall asleep - we have to stay up until at least 8:30.  Not long after I say that Dwayne falls asleep so I wake him up, then Margriet falls asleep so again I wake her up. I say we should get out and walk around a bit. I'm so happy to be back in Holland I don't want to sleep! I suggest we walk to the nearest store that is about 4 blocks away and find something for supper. They agree and off we go. We find the Lidl store (yeah my favourite store!) but there is nothing there for takeout.  We go across the street to Albert Hein and find out they only take debit or cash - hummmm our cash is back at the room :(  So we keep walking and find a take out pizza place - small pizza's for 5euros each! So order 3 and go back to the room. Have our dinner and then hit the pillows soon after.  Needless to say sleep was not great since we were all over tired LOL!! Just like little kids!

In the morning we are deciding how we will get to our rental chalet which is about 7km away from the hotel. Definitely to far to walk! Checked taxi rates and it would be around 25euros. Then I decided to check Rentals.com for a car. Found one for only 15euros for 1 day. WOW! let's rent a car and then we can get groceries without having to take the bus and walk back.  We had already booked a shuttle to the airport so we hopped on since the rental was to be picked up at the airport.  There is a long line-up at the rental office so while Dwayne and Mar waited I went looking for a SIM card. Found an outlet that sold SIM cards - so bought on with 6GB data, texting and 30 mins local calls for 44E. And what has changed since last time we were in Europe, the data can be used throughout Europe, unlike last last time when I had to buy a new SIM card and data in EACH country! So much easier now :)  I get back to Thrifty's rentals to find out we ALSO have to pay a airport surcharge of 68E!! WHAT??? nothing about that when I booked the rental online - crap! There goes the "cheap" rental car for the day.  But we pay and go get the car. Must have been a kilometre walk just to get to the car depot to pick it up - no shuttles, since its in the same building!  We get the car, throw in the suitcases and backpacks and away we go.  I check maps.me to get directions to the chalet - found it no problem :)  Get checked in and drive to the chalet.

Not a bad place at all :) The whole park is very nice. We have decided that since we have the car we will drive up to Volendam for the afternoon to show Margriet around. We really loved the place last time we were here. So put the suitcases inside, filled up the water bottles and off we went.  Again using maps.me to get us there, no real problems, think we missed one corner but all worked out. We park a few blocks away from the main area of Volendam and start walking.  We get to the little shops and stop for lunch - this time not only frites (medium shared :) but also kibbling (fried fish) - YUM!!!! Not the type with lots of batter, but this fish is cut into small cubes and deep-fried but with a light batter. LOVE IT! There was also salted herring for sale but thought we should save that for another day :)  We found a bench to sit at and watch the boats in the small marina.  I saw a large boat that takes passengers to Marken which is a 30 minute boat ride. I check it out and we decide its worth the price to go over. Marken use to be an island but a dike was built many years ago to allow a connection to the mainland.  Both Volendam and Marken were small fishing villages but once a huge long dike was built further north which then created Ijssel Lake the salt water became freshwater and the fish died. Now of course the locals of both villages make their income from tourist services.


Leaving Volendam on the boat
We enjoyed the walk around Marken - there was a wooden shoemaker there, but we missed the demonstration. Also a cheese market, a few restaurants but other then that mostly just the local houses.

The boat that we came across on
Marken - love the clothes hanging on the line

Very quiet little village

The wooden shoe tree outside the shoemaker

machinery used to make shoes out of a block of wood

machine to hollow out the shoe

Ooooo fancy wooden shoes - the one on the bottom are for Sundays

Tricky skates!!

Lots of shoes hanging to dry and waiting to be sold

Also wooden tulips 

Now thats a planter!!

this is to represent a typical fishing family in the tiny house

Dwayne outside the typical fishing houses 

We were pretty pooped by now so headed back to the dock to catch the boat back to Volendam.  Once there we looked into a few more stores then headed back to the car to find a grocery store.

Found my favourite store the Lidl and got our groceries for a few days - since next time we shop we will be travelling by train and bus and then have a 20 min walk to the chalet.  We get home and I make our first dinner - piri piri flavoured chicken from Lidl, greek salad and fried potatoes for Dwayne - well liked by all :)

Tomorrow we take the rental back to the airport and then take the train to spend the day in Amsterdam

1 comment:

  1. I'm amazed they allowed you to take the sandwiches! I've had food confiscated before when flying so now I never bring any.
    I loved seeing the photos of Volendam and Marken -- loved both those places when I was there.