Day one, and what a long day it is… part 1

Amsterdam Travel Blog

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Jacomien, still snugly dressed in winter coat but smiling in anticipation of the tropics.

Yeah… today is departure day!!! We are so excited; we can hardly wait to board the plane. Because of that, and for the want of extra legroom, we took an early train to Schiphol Airport so we could check-in three hours before the flight was due to take off. For the flight we had booked a comfort class seat which gave us, well mainly me, an extra 8 centimeters legroom. I know that doesn't sound like much but with me being well over 6 feet and 6 inches, I need every inch (or cm in this case) I can get and in hindsight it was worth the additional 130 Euros for the return trip. With our early check in we hoped to get some seats near an emergency exit, which has even more room to put my stilts.

 

Check-inn went reasonably quick.

Fellow smokers enjoying a last few drags before heading to the gate.
Our luggage cleared, as usual, well below maximum weight. The ground stewardess told us, regrettably there are no emergency exits in the comfort class rows. So, I desperately hoped the 8 cm would prove enough. With checking in behind us we now had about two hours to spend before boarding would start. To pass the time we got a cup of coffee and tea at one of the horribly expensive airport cafes. I had also planned for some tax free shopping but that would mean for us to go through customs first.

And Schiphol airport is a non-smoking airport. So, after a last smoke outside, off we went to the duty-free area. I went straight for the Liquor & Tobacco store and bought enough cigarettes to make it through the entire vacation. It was only then I found out there still are smoking areas on Schiphol airport. Well hidden, but still :) I spotted a sign between the duty-free zone and the walkways to the gates. Of course I dragged my self there for.., well.., another few drags :)

 

From the smoking salon (which is in the back of an Irish pub), it was on to a bathroom to apply a nicotine patch.

Jacomien and the empty seat between us. And from the looks of her, that empty seat is no luxury for me, LMAO :)
My wife says (and I believe her) that I become a very, very annoying person after about an hour or three of non-smoking. With the up coming ten hour flight in mind, for the first time in my life I bought some nicotine patches. I had my doubts, but I liked the result so much, I might just try to use them as an aid to quit smoking all together. :) More importantly, my wife was ever so pleased with the result and eternally grateful, which is worth something too :D

 

After all this giving in to and countering my addiction, we proceeded to the boarding area. Within half an hour boarding of the Boeing started. This Boeing 737-600 has a two-three-two seat configuration and we sat side by side on the middle three-seat row, row 16. As the third seat stayed empty when boarding was closed, Jacomien jumped to the outside seat on my instruction :) Now we had the entire row to ourselves, with the middle seat empty. Excellent for putting all our stuff. Especially because we brought quite an array of goodies to keep us busy during the ten hour flight. Of course we could rent the ridiculous expensive on board 'entertainment set', some sort of DVD player with radio and computer games, but didn't do that.

There you go..., we're high in the sky and well on our way :)

 

Immediately after take-off a little turbulence occurred to please my wife and myself for that matter. Nothing beats having those little butterflies in your stomach :) Soon we were 35000 feet up in the sky and outside temperatures dropped to minus 67 centigrade. Much colder than back home and a far cry from the tropical temperatures we were craving so much. Fortunately, every minute flying took us closer to our destination and with almost 900km/h we were getting closer fast. The food aboard was above average, albeit airline food. One advantage of being in first few rows of the plane is that you still have a choice in meals. The airline calls it 'a la carte', but with a choice between just two meals, I think that is stretching it a bit :)

Sweetski says:
Don't worry, I bought some cigars on Cuba too :)
Posted on: Aug 20, 2010
almond72 says:
You could have saved your tobacco money for Cuban cigars ! :D
Posted on: Aug 20, 2010
Sweetski says:
Cigarettes... they're such a drag :)
Posted on: Dec 04, 2009
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Amsterdam
photo by: pearcetoyou