There is something about getting up at 2:45am that takes the thrill out of flying, but we did it and the thrill returned. Standing in line at Wizz Airlines check-in desk at 4am waiting for them to open, was an ordeal. We checked in online, but with US passports, we still need a boarding pass.
Security was more extensive than it has ever been in Budapest. Not only did I get a full body search, but I had to remove my Crocs, and the young inspector massaged my feet. I offered him a tip, but he said the pleasure was all his.
Wizz is not a bad airline overall. We could have paid for advanced boarding, but all that meant was getting on the bus first that would be taking us to the plane. Big whoop! We could have paid for extra leg room, but we were fine and the seats are all leather. The flight is 1 hour and 50 minutes; anyone could suffer for that amount of time.
When we reached Eindhoven, our friend Mike met us at the airport to lead us to the bus, which would take us to the train, which would take us to Amsterdam. Although we thought it would be a change, it was not a change of trains at the airport like we thought, but at Utrecht. Train tickets one way from Eindhoven to Amsterdam were 34.40 Euros for both of us. This gave us time for a coffee and pastry, after all, it was still only a little past 9am. When we arrived in Amsterdam, we took our time getting transportation tickets to last our four days here. Tickets ran us 19.50 Euros each; 5 Euros a day is not bad at all.
I have been here so many times, I knew to take the 1, 2, or 5 tram to get to our hotel. Of course, we could not check in until 2pm giving us hours to kill. Leaving our back and backpack we went to explore places I knew really well and places Ron was more than familiar with. The Rembrandt Museum is STILL under reconstruction and the offerings are limited, but the entrance is still 12.50 Euros. We passed it by. We have both been here when it was full and complete, so we can wait. I went once when it was in this condition and that was 5 years ago at least. The offering are really scant in comparison. The Van Gogh Museum had a line that extended two blocks. We went two trips ago, so did not feel a need to stand in line.
We explored a number of places, playing the “Remember when” game. Remember when we ate here? Remember the statues that were once here? Remember this store where we bought…? By 2pm, we asked “Do you remember when it is time to check in to the room?”. It was time, we did, and fell into a coma-like sleep for 2 hours.
Refreshed, we hunted for a dinner spot all over the next 6 canals. We finally landed at a place I had eaten at when here alone. Los Amigos has wonderful food and an all you can eat rib special that cannot be beat. For 13.50, you get a slab of ribs, a salad and potato. The ribs keep coming until you say stop. Ron had salmon, which was not all you can eat, but he was satisfied.
Tomorrow, we will venture to Haarlem for the day.