It was an early morning trip to the airport. The metro station was almost empty but the airport was full of people. You can really feel the ‘revenge travel’ that people are talking about. Then the rain started just when we had to leave the bus to board the plane.
It was the big plane, the one you take on an intercontinental flight. I dreamt of flying to Tokyo or Seoul… Once we are up, it was sunny and very pretty!
I arrived at my hotel in central Amsterdam. I was too early and sweating from wearing thick clothing all the way from Helsinki. I took off my coat, left it, walked and sat myself to breakfast in this cozy place. I came in just at the right time as the place became full too quickly. Apparently, it was a known place for the locals.
I walked back to the hotel as the rain started pouring. I had no umbrella and no coat either. The closest shop was the cheese shop and that was how I ended up owning a cheese umbrella. I arrived at the hotel and was able to check into my room. The stairs was a typical dutch stairs – long, steep and narrow. But I was able to manage to get to the third floor. The secret – travelling light! The room was tiny. I can’t remember staying in such tiny hotel room ever in my life. But I managed. The secret – I’m a tiny person myself! (Note: this room was not even cheap!)
Then came the name test during breakfast the next day. And it was 100% perfect. The guy behind the counter got my name by just saying it once. He even offered a muffin for 25 cents. This was a correct name third time around. First in Paris, then Vancouver and now in Amsterdam. This place also played Billie Holiday.
Then it was walking walking walking. It’s really worth staying close to the major attractions. I was also back at Van Gogh museum after 6 years. I didn’t visit when I was in Amsterdam in 2019.
But the main reason why I was in Amsterdam was to attend my son’s graduation for his bachelor’s from the University of Amsterdam. We even went out the first evening to shop and dine. It was a special event. Just think about how these students spent the last two years studying online. It was a happy reunion with course-mates whom they haven’t seen in two years. Students flew from different countries to attend the graduation ceremony. Some even flew all the way from Dubai. I was such a proud mum! After the dinner of humongous burger, we said goodbye as he was busy with his classes the next day. He is taking a Master degree course after all!
So I continued to explore Amsterdam by foot the next day before heading to the airport. It was cloudy with few showers here and there but it was nice. The day before, my son took me to a special cookie shop. It’s so famous that they were out of cookies already when we got there. So there I was at 10.15 and a queue was already formed. I queued for fun. It was my first time to queue for cookies and I can honestly say it was worth it!
I continued walking and passed by this cute croissant shop and also saw a Gashapon shop. Guess if I played? Then I got breakfast at a pancake place where only one person works. She was amazing because the place was actually packed. She took the order, cooked, took the payment, cleaned and repeat. Some people were eating open pancake but I rolled it!
I head back to the hotel with a few diversions. The cookie shop still had a long queue. I also looked around the book market where I was 6 years ago and got myself some old postcards. Interestingly, I bought two very old postcards from Japan mailed to a person in Finland! I also passed by the Flower market and bought some bonsai seeds. Then I took my small luggage from the hotel and headed to the airport by bus. I arrived 4 hours before my plane departs without knowing that I should be at the airport 4 hours before my plane departs because of the revenge travel! There were lots of people. The queue went in and out of the airport. They even made a tent. I haven’t seen anything like this in my entire life and I have travelled a lot.
But I made it. It was a crazy three hours queue, longer than flying to Helsinki! Why did I come to the airport 4 hours earlier is still a mystery to me up until now…
It was a quick and lovely break, something that I thought I didn’t need but I actually did!