Everyone started leaving this morning to return home. We missed the early departures (they left at 6:30am and 7am). We had breakfast at our usual time of 9am and then started packing up everything. By just after 10 am we had said our goodbyes and were on the road back to the airport at Bordeaux. The GPS said it would take 1 hour 10 mins but we had been warned that because of traffic around Bordeaux it would take longer. They were right. It took about 1 hour 40 minutes. Disposing of the rental car, finding the check in counter and checking in our luggage all went smoothly and easily.
By this stage we knew that the first batch traveling had about an hour delay on their flight and as they were meant to have about 1 hour 40 minutes to connect this was now down to 40 minutes (and at Charles de Gaulle airport that means you miss you plane). Our flight (on the other hand) to Amsterdam left on time (well we were officially 3 minutes late but by airlines standards that is on time). In fact KLM have a very good on time departure record (91% of flights leave on time which compares to 76% for most USA based carriers). Your trivia fact for today, in June 2013 SAA was named as the World’s Best Airline for Ontime departures.
We arrived at about 3:30pm into Amsterdam and by that stage it was confirmed that the two USA based families had missed their flight and it had taken them 3 hours to get sorted out. They have the night in Paris airport hotel and are booked on a flight tomorrow now. The joys of flying Air France & Delta. In case you are wondering, Air France’s ontime departure record is 71% which is one of the lowest for a major international airline (#whyamInotsurprised).
We took a taxi into our hotel in Amsterdam. We are staying at The College Hotel (http://thecollegehotel.com/en/home) which was booked by Michael after he got some recommendations from a class mate. You might be wondering why such a strange name – well that’s because it is a college for hotel students. It was originally a school (founded in 1895) and you can still imagine all the school kids running around. The converted it to a hotel in 2005 and is run by students training at various hotel training schools. It is a very nice hotel at a very reasonable price by European standards and is ideally located. I would suggest it to anyone visiting Amsterdam. They are a little slow with check ins but they are very deliberate and you know exactly what you are getting for the price you’re paying. The guy who showed us the room even managed to point out the toilet to Helen! He was so nervous, he was making Helen nervous.
We went out hoping to take a canal tour this evening but they were all already fully booked for today. Instead we walked around and then found a very vibey part where there were numerous restaurants. We chose the Argentinian steakhouse and really enjoyed the good steaks we had while watching the passers-by. Tomorrow there is a Gay Pride march in Amsterdam and they have warned us that the canal boats might be less frequent etc. Trust us to be in Amsterdam on a Saturday with a gay pride march.
Lovely evening in Amsterdam with the temperature somewhere in the 30 degrees (but quite humid as well). We enjoyed the walk back to our hotel again. Unfortunately it wasn’t the same route as we took when we left the hotel because Michael and Helen had see numerous scantily clad ladies leaning out of the windows on that route and hadn’t bothered to point them out to me. I was dutifully leading the family and not letting my eyes wander. My mother will be proud of me …
P, H, S, M, C