Puurs railway station
Yes, yes, yes, the day has arrived! Today we leave on a well-earned vacation to Isla Margarita, Playa El Agua. We have known a lot of stress building our house and at work, so we can leave now and we will enjoy a 1000 percent. Getting up is the least today, after a short sleep. It’s 04:00 when we get up, prepare everything to go to Puurs station by car. Yesterday Eef had packed all things and Timo did the hand luggage and the bag with camera material, so now we only need to pick everything up and put it in the car. We say goodbye to Cartouche: Be good little one, we’ll miss you. We take the car and drive to Puurs.
Maurits and Betty will pick up the car later today and bring it to their place. A very good arrangement. The first train leaves at 05:02 from Puurs to Antwerp central station. It’s a train, that stops at Niel, Boom, Hemiksem and other small stations. At five thirty we arrive in Antwerp. Nothing is open yet, so we wait a while to buy tickets and to have breakfast. The ticket we already had, will be extended to Schiphol and it costs 22,40 Euro. A few minutes before 6 Panos opens and we eat two croissants and two biscuits, of course with a cup of coffee. We then walk with all the luggage to level –2 to railway number 21. That train leaves here at 06:31 and we will arrive in Schiphol about 2 hours later. We read, we try to solve some crossword puzzles and let the train race the tracks. Roosendaal, Dordrecht, Den Haag.
Then Jean passes us, de father of Davy. Roza and Jean go to Isla Margarita to visit Yvonne, Davy and especially the kids Victor and Diana. They have left in July and try in Venezuela to start a completely new life. We’ll meet again at the airport. According to schedule we arrive at Schiphol at 08:20. We look for the counter where we need to check in, we need to queue a long time, but then can leave the bag pack and the luggage and that’s perfect. We buy some cigarettes and small cigars and smoke one outside. Very good, the vacation has started! Then another period comes of queuing and waiting. First at the customs check, then to check the hand luggage and then we arrive at the gate for departure: within ten hours we will be in a better place. Or maybe not. The airplane is not yet there, so something is wrong. And indeed. We were supposed to board at 11:10 and at 10:50 they notify us of a problem and at 11:15 they will provide extra information. A lot of fuzz starts and at 11:20 bad info is given. There is a problem with the airplane and there is a delay of 24 hours. Yes, indeed, twenty four hours. At first they said there was a delay and they were looking for a solution and then after 5 minutes there is a delay of 24 hours; that sounds like deceit. Two groups are formed: one that wants and can return home and another group that wants a hotel to stay. Well, we don’t really have a choice. For us it’s very difficult to go back home and get up tomorrow again at 04:00 and do the same route a second time. So we join the group that prefers a hotel. We need to wait for about 30 minutes and then we can collect our luggage under an escort of a stewardess of ArkeFly. All goes pretty fast. At 13:00 we are outside in the rain and the cold and we wait for shuttle buses of NH-hotels. That is not very smooth: only 7 people with their luggage are allowed in the bus and there are only three shuttles. This means each time the buses arrive they can transport 21 people maximum. If you then know there are about 150 persons waiting for transport, you can calculate yourself how long this will take. It’s raining, it’s cold, the wind blows hard; there are better circumstances to wait. Four times the three buses pass and we could not be on the buses yet. It’s about two o’clock in the meantime, so it’s time something happens. Then one of the stewards has a fantastic idea. He arranged a large bus of normal airport transportation. In 1 time the driver brings 40 people to the hotel. We are on the bus almost as first two and 30 minutes later we’re in the lobby of the NH Hotel. Jean and Timo smoke something while Eef and Roza wait for the checkin. At 14:45 we arrive on our room and first can have lunch. A buffet with different things. We have calamari with pasta and can enjoy it. After lunch we drink a Affligem from the barrel and then go for a break. We watch some TV and sleep a little bit. Then suddenly at 19:00 we receive a call on our mobile, a 0058 number, probably Davy. Roza had tried to call Yvonne and then Davy a few times, but she had no luck. Then they phoned Danny (their other son) and asked him to call Davy and that way Davy knew that there was trouble. So Davy called Timo and he went immediately to the room nextdoor and gives the phone to Roza. They take care of business en instead of today they will pick Roza and Jean up tomorrow. Now we have another hour to prepare for diner. We take a shower and then go to have something to eat. It is again buffet and now we have chop, very nice. After that we stay in the lobby and drink again an Affligem. We talk a little bit, but not too late, since we need to be ready for pickup at 07:30 and then we will go to the airport, the second time then, hopefully the good time. We go to our room at 23:00 and sleep at 23:30.
Waiting in the hotel @ Schiphol