Amsterdam Series: British Airways from Amsterdam to Vancouver

Hey all, hope you enjoyed my series on Europe as much as I had enjoyed blogging about it. This is my last on the series and will focus on the flight back home.

I took the British Airways flight from Amsterdam with a transit at London. I was really glad to be on my way home.

_MG_3639

I like British Airways — definitely more than Air Canada which I took the last time I went to London. Oh yeah, I forgot to share about some weird thing about the Brits on flights — at least on the flights I was on. When the plane landed on Heathrow, people actually claps! I guess it’s something they do … so of saying the pilot did a great job or something … *shrugs*

What I like is having your own video display on your seat. That way I have a choice of movies I wanted to watch. Forget about the computer games … they were crappy.

_MG_3645

So, bye bye London and Europe. I think I’ll be back again as long as I am in the same job. Although the hours were irregular, one of the perks of this job is that I get to travel.

_MG_3655_edited-1

My fav drink … tomato juice. One thing I notice … my Asian friends mostly does not like tomato juice. I can’t really figure out what it is. Asians will drink orange juice, watermelon juice, but not tomato juice. Just the other day in a friends gathering, I made Bloody Caesars for everyone and guess what, none of them were even half-finished.

_MG_3665 Continue reading

Amsterdam Series: Schiphol Airport

Well, it’s time to go home. I was becoming homesick and just can’t wait to get home. Don’t get me wrong, I had a great time but I am missing terribly home cooked food, my own bed and the family. The last day in Amsterdam was just spent downloading my pictures, post process them and plan out the blog entries. Boy, that was a lot of work — I had thousands of pictures and sorting them out was no mean task.

I got to Schiphol about two hours before departure.

_MG_3621_edited-1

Schiphol is one of the best airports in the world having won numerous international awards. It is not only an airport but it is also has a major train station underground. On top of that, Schiphol also has a large shopping plaza with a supermarket.

Did you know that Schiphol actually lies on a lake? It was once a lake but over the years have been drained of the water (yup, major part of it was done using windmills).

_MG_3623_edited-1

Checking in was very fast. I was somewhat afraid they would charge me for excess weight for my luggage since my first leg of the way home was to London. British Airways are very particular about the luggage weight for flights intra Europe. They only allowed the excess baggage weight because I had an onward ticket to Vancouver.

_MG_3636_edited-1 Continue reading

Amsterdam Series: City of Canal and Bicycles

Two things that you will never fail to notice in Amsterdam is canals and bicycles. Being an avid cyclist myself, I had always known that Amsterdam is the most bicycle friendly city in the world but what I learned was an eye opener.

_MG_3564

More about canals and bikes after this short commercial about food.

Almost everywhere I go I see fast food outlets called Febo. This is a chain of self-service fast food. The food is cheap and just perfect for tourists who just want to grab a quick bite to satisfy the hunger pangs.

_MG_3571_edited-1

Their food is sold in a coin operated machine. You just drop the correct amount into the slot and which releases the door. It’s a very simple concept and an excellent idea for a high traffic tourist spot.

Hmmm … I have never seen this in Vancouver before. Maybe it’s a good idea for someone to introduce this in some place like Gastown.

_MG_3570_edited-1 Continue reading

Amsterdam Series: Pannekoeken Breakfast and Museums

I did not know exactly where I was this morning. I was on a tram trying to get to the city centre when I spotted a bustling flower market. I thought I just spend a few minutes here to check out this place. It’s still early spring and so one could hardly see any tulips around. However, there were quite a lot of bulbs on sale — some of which are bigger than a fist.

_MG_3554_edited-1

There were quite a few restaurants along the street where the flower market is. My only impression of a Dutch breakfast is the pannekoeken (or known as pannekoek in Canada). We had once tried these dutch pancakes in De Dutch here in BC.

So I guess this is where I could get the real dutch breakfast.

_MG_3555_edited-1

The interior is dim and cozy. It was early and I was their only customer.

_MG_3556_edited-1

I ordered coffee as usual … always coffee with milk. And there’s the piece of cookie like they always give you with coffee in Europe.

_MG_3559_edited-1 Continue reading

Brussels Series: Eurail from Brussels to Amsterdam

I woke up very early and tried to get the earliest train to Amsterdam. The Zuid/Midi station was pretty quiet at that time of the day. I had just spent two nights in Brussels. I like Brussels. It was not as exciting as London and Paris for sure. However, they have some of the best food around. The streets are safe and the people are helpful. Even in this station, I do feel safe even though it was so early.

_MG_3456_edited-1

Many cities in Europe are linked by rail under the InterCity train service. The InterCity train between Brussels and Amsterdam is not high-speed. Because of this, it took three hours to reach Amsterdam.

_MG_3460_edited-1 Continue reading