We woke up earlier than planned which meant I could take my time getting ready. An hour later we were out of the hotel and at the tram stop. Everything ran smoothly until we tried to go through the gate to the train. Our one way ticket was for yesterday. Such a pain and a waste of money. But it didn’t cost us time thankfully.
We arrived at Schiphol at 07:18 and it took 90 minutes before we were through passport control. It’s worth keeping in mind if you are travelling via Amsterdam. For EU passport holders it’s much quicker as they have automatic scanning. Something I’m looking forward to when South Africa introduces this next year.
We had breakfast in the Aspire Lounge and then boarded the plane. I had chosen to leave the middle seat empty between Dave and I. It worked wonders on the flight coming here. But someone booked the seat for our return flight. She was happy to swap and then asked the flight attendant to move her if there were two empty seats somewhwre. So strange to have booked this seat then when she could have chosen seats elsewhere where two next to each other were empty. And she paid for her choice.
Two people were not allowed to travel so we had to wait for their luggage to be taken off the plane. And we had to wait for an oxygen bottle. Eventually we took off just over half an hour late. Lunch was served at 12 – chicken for mains and a cheese cake for dessert with a bottle of Chenin Blanc. We got a cheese sandwich at tea time made with Beemster cheese and bread from Carl Siegert Bakery who mill their grains using the windmills. From experience I can tell you its extremely noisy inside the windmill when it’s running.
I spent most of the flight reading and at 7pm Dave got us a snack. Supper was served at 8pm. A margherita panini and coconut cheesecake made for a perfectly light meal. With a bottle of Shiraz this time.
We landed 10 minutes late and the longest queue was the health check. Once that was done we went through passport control, collected the case and headed home. A very long day after a truly great time away.
After packing and getting ready and dinner at home it was time to get to the airport. We arrived with plenty of time to spare and checked in without too much hassle. First stop is security where your passport, vaccine certificate and accommodation plans are checked. Then the actual check in where everything is verified. We had uploaded our documents the day prior to flying so that went smoothly. Boarding pass in hand we went through the security check and passport control with no problems. As the Bidvest Lounge is still closed we had a glass of wine at the terminal restaurant. R220 for two glasses shows what a captive audience means. After that we went to the gate and chose the best seats to wait for our flight. We boarded first and got settled on the plane. We have emergency row seats with three to ourselves. The space is most welcome. We left on time and had dinner just before 1am. Weird to eat at that time but breakfast is only served at 09:30 so best to eat. A Shiraz with dinner went perfectly with the very tasty chicken curry.
Once again the electric toothbrush battery has gone flat. It just ‘sees’ a plane and it happens. We are on a Boeing 787 and it’s so quiet I’ve decided to sleep without earplugs. But not without a sleeping tablet, anti-histamine and one Disprin to prevent blood clots (Doctors orders). Just as I was falling asleep there was a mishap so that woke me. I tossed and turned for a bit and snooze on and off. I finally managed some sleep and work up at 8:15. Snoozed for another half an hour then got up to brush teeth etc.
Breakfast was fruit salad, yoghurt with berry coulis and an egg sausage roll. All very tasty but the coffee was the most important factor 😂. By the time we were done I was organised to repack the hand luggage and get my boots back on.
Wearing a mask was not as bad as one thinks. I have the copper fresh masks which make breathing easier. We were not forced to change them so I will put it away for the return flight. I pushed it down a few times in my sleep but that’s because I feel like I’m being smothered if something covers my nose.
I packed away our in flight bags. Got the stuff we need for the terminal on top of the pile and sat back to relax for the last hour by reading my book. We landed slightly early without a hitch and disembarked row by row. I love this new aspect for getting off the plane.
Our vaccine passports were checked when we disembarked and then a long queue for passport control. We had a smooth experience as all my paperwork was in order. After that all we had to do was buy data and get on the train. It’s 12:47 and I’m signing off for the day.
This time next week we will be enjoying the same weather in the opposite hemisphere. It’s raining in Gordons Bay and I cannot wait to be in Holland. Dave and I are looking forward to having a drink with Mark IRL as opposed to WhatsApp. What a blessing to be able to travel.