I’m a traveler. I’m a traveler in heart & soul. ANYTHING that has to do with travel makes my heart go boom, boom, boom. Traveling by boat must be my favorite and it goes without saying that cycling is another favorite way of transport. But since I live in South Africa, I seem to spend quite a few times per year at airports. I’m one of those people who is quite happy to spend a few hours at an airport. I don’t mind killing the hours with reading, shopping and of course watching the people come and go and wonder about their life stories. Everyone has a reason to travel to be at an airport, either for business, for leisure or for family visits. It’s heartbreaking to see people say goodbye to their families and it’s heartwarming to see them being re-united again and it all happens at airports. So I love them.
There are well organized airports, big ones, small ones and then, there’s the BEST one, which in my experience is Schiphol, Amsterdam. Call me biased, patriotic or chauvinistic but really, spending a couple of hours at Schiphol should be part of your European trip as a feature, as an experience. I assure you, you will not be bored for 1 single minute.
I remember the time when I flew back to Cape Town on the 1st of January. Of course I was partying till the early morning in Amsterdam, that was the whole plan. At Schiphol I could take a shower in a clean room and get rejuvenated. GREAT! Then let’s talk a bit about the shops. I live in South Africa so yes, there are certain things I do miss from The Netherlands. Schiphol has made it super convenient to shop for last minute delicacies so before boarding I can get my: Stroopwafels, Speculaas, Calve Mayonnaise and yes even herring and flower bulbs. It’s absolutely wonderful and great fun + I don’t need to stress out about shopping for this while I’m having a good time with my family and friends.
What other things to do at Schiphol? How about the Holland Boulevard? From mid May 2012 there’s a small exhibition of letters from Van Gogh in the Airport Library. How awesome is that! Or what about a visit the Rijksmuseum? And then the food. Ach man, the FOOD!! At Schiphol there are so many restaurants and flavors, I can’t even begin to describe them all here. When I passed through last month I found Café Chocolat where OBVIOUSLY I had to try 1 of their hot chocolates. I saw Bubbles Seafood & Wine Bar (it was 9am in the morning so I skipped that one).
At the Holland Boulevard you can taste all kinds of Dutch delicacies and you can sit in a traditional Delft blue tea cup. Ah, while looking for pictures I found the blog post below which give you another overview of 10 great things to do. Makes my life super easy, LOL! Here are just some pictures to share. Did I mention the Science Center, massages, Rituals Spa & silence center?? I really recommend to have a transfer time of at least 3 hours to enjoy all of this.