Maybe I’m not like most people. Ok, let me try that again: I know I’m not like other people. It may seem weird to take pictures inside an airport, but yes — that’s what I do when I’m traveling. Not the type of pictures of people posing, but pictures that are practical and helpful for travelers like myself. Therefore, if you are in an airport and you some crazy lady taking pictures, it might just be me!
This picture is of my departure from Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam. When we arrived in Amsterdam it was 7:15 am and after flying for what felt like an eternity. Yes it was less than a two hour flight from Boston to Washington, DC and then a 7 1/2 hour flight to Amsterdam, but it felt like an eternity. Look how incredibly clean this airport is! Completely spotless through and through.
I especially liked that the airport’s luggage trolley’s are free! We connected through Newark International airport where they were $5.00 each and back home at Boston Logan International airport, they were $4.00. Free always sounds so much better to me! After picking up a trolley, wheel yourself around to one of the many stores like The Body Shop or the Nike Store. If shoppings not your thing, how about a drink or bite to eat at any one of the many restaurants and bars pre- or post-security all along Holland Boulevard, the main “avenue” in the airport. In addition to the typical post-security airline lounges, there are also places to get a massage, one of those crazy fish pedicures, a meditation center, hotels, a casino, and more.
Not in the mood to shop? Then why not visit the Schiphol Airport Library? Opened in 2010, I love the idea of being able to visit a library in the middle of an otherwise overly commercialized facility and not having to buy anything. There are a few iPads available to access the library’s website for videos, photos, and music clips about Dutch artists, architects, and designers. If you like, there’s also a download station where you can download material from the museum onto your smartphone to take with you. Open 24 hours, 7 days a week, this unstaffed library is just the thing for long layovers and a serious case of boredom. Even if you don’t think you want to look at a book, visit the world’s first airport library and sit on one of the crazy cool orange chairs. You’ll get a great view of everyone passing by and it can make for some great people watching.
To pique your cultural interest, how about a visit to the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam Schiphol? Also located on Holland Boulevard, the main thoroughfare within the airport, you can take a peek inside at the world’s first airport museum that was opened in 2002. From the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam Schiphol website: “The museum is open every day from 7:00 until 20:00 and admission is free. It houses a permanent exhibition of ten works by Dutch masters of the Golden Age from the Rijksmuseum’s collection. The temporary exhibition changes a number of times a year.” After your visit to the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam Schiphol, you can stop in at the museum shop and pick up a souvenir specially crafted for the museum. If for some reason your trip to Amsterdam didn’t include a stop at the Rijksmuseum, don’t despair and stop here before heading home.
This last image was the only one I have from my arrival into Amsterdam. We were tired and waiting for our ride and so this largely grey and ambiguous photo was taken. Although after 7 am, it was incredibly dark and this was one of those strange adjustments to make while in Amsterdam. Unlike in the U.S., there weren’t any police or security around shooing people away from parking or standing. Just past the median by the crosswalk, you could park your car and get out to meet someone arriving. This isn’t parking for a long period of time, but just to pick up, but it’s far better than sitting in the typical “cell phone lot” that’s a mile away from the terminal. The Schiphol Airport is one of my new favorite airports and certainly made our trip a fun one from start to finish. If you’re not getting picked up, the train into Amsterdam is easy to access and getting tickets are super easy. In a future post I’ll talk more about the train to the airport since that is how we arrived back at Schiphol Airport. Up next, where we stayed on our trip to Amsterdam. Think unusual and that’s what we did!