It rained all day on Friday and we just hung around town and visited some of the shops and bought a few souvenirs. Most of the time we just hung around the New Inn. Even though it rained it was a nice day. That night we gathered in the New Inn for a dinner and beer. The pub was filled with a lot of people I knew from the last time I was here. Everyone wished us well and hoped we would visit again soon.
Maria, David, Mike, Mike, Sally, Bryan and Buster (the dog)
Saturday we got up and had a breakfast of pork pies. Then we walked around town some more and then up to church, which was built in the early 1300s. We also visited a the grave of Matthew Grimes, who was a pallbearer at Napoleon’s funeral.
We met a man and his wife walking their pet goats.
We also met the same friendly cat that was in my 2010 trip report.
After a final lunch at the New Inn we piled into David’s rental car for the trip to York Station. Where we boarded the train to MAN. With a train change and Manchester Picidilly Station.
We headed over to Bewley’s hotel, which is where we would stay the night before heading to AMS.
We ate dinner there and then went to bed. The next morning we had their Irish breakfast buffet and mom and I took a cab over to the Runway Visitor Park.
I have been to the visitor park before, but I always enjoy visiting there and watching the planes. They were not giving tours of Concorde that day, so we missed out on that. I have done it before, but mom wanted to see it.
Back to Bewley’s for lunch and then the hotel van took us to T3 for our trip to AMS
The check inn line was LONG and there was a shift change that left only one man working the counter. There were people in line for three different flights, including a Paris flight that was leaving in less than an hour. Finally after a half hour new agents arrived and they took all the Paris people first. I bet2/3s of a A319 was still waiting to check bags. I heard they had been waiting for two hours.
After over an hour waiting to drop our bags we headed through security, which was as easy as the bag drop line was painful. Mom and dad stopped to get some Euros for the next leg of our trip.
We walked around T3
Then headed to our gate to board our KLM 737-700 that would take us to AMS.
The flight was nearly full and the flying was perfect. We were served a snack
The flight was only an hour
We landed at AMS and headed through passport control to the baggage claim area, judging by the lack of people from our flight we assumed most of them were connecting, like I usually do.
We headed over to the railroad ticket office and bought some first class tickets to Central Station. Even though it was a fifteen minute train ride we figured we would get first class so we wouldn’t likely be sitting next to any stinky hippies.
The train arrived about five minutes late and there were a lot of people standing around on the platform waiting for it
The train was comfortable, but not as nice as the one from MAN to York.
We arrived at Central Station and it was PACKED. People everywhere!!!!
We made our way out of the station over to the Double Tree hotel, next to it.
The Double Tree is almost new and is a very nice hotel, which dad used his Hilton Honors points to get us. Mom and dad had their own room and so did I. Both rooms were identical, except the layout was exactly opposite.
We had an excellent view of the city from our rooms.
It was around 8:30pm by the time we got settled and it was time to east and drink. We went some Italian chain restaurant in front of the central Library and then walked around the library.
After that we some beers at Barco’s which is a boat that is next to the Sea Palace Chinese restaurant.
The next day we got on a “hop on hop off” canal boat and wondered around town. I have flown in and out of AMS many times but I never actually got into the city of Amsterdam.
We went to the Van Gogh Museum, which my dad loved and mom and I; well not so much. I am not a big Van Gogh fan. After that we had lunch at the vintage hotel called the American, or something of the sort. It rained most of the day so dad took the streetcar back to the hotel and mom and I got out our umbrellas and walked around town. We walked down several streets that had things (not actual people) in the windows that normally you don’t want to see with your mother, such as the GI-Joe like dolls without pants on.
One of the tour guides, on the boat, said that the canals are 3 meters deep; one meter water, one muck and one bicycles. Well... we saw a dredge pulling up a lot of bikes.
After a long walk we made it back to the hotel and went up to the sky lounge and had some drinks. The view from the Sky Lounge was fantastic and you should go there even if you don’t stay at the Double Tree.
The Lounge also had a great view for watching trains coming in and out of Central Station
That night we headed over to the Sea Palace Chinese restaurant for dinner and were delighted how nice it was and how good the food was.
After eating mom went off to bed and dad and I wondered on down to the Red Light District for some beers.
We didn’t stay out too late because we were tired from our long day and went back to the Double Tree. The breakfast at the Double Tree was top shelf and enjoyed every bit of it. We had purchased tickets for the Anne Frank House, but blew it off because we saw the outside the day before and didn’t feel like standing in line.
We went to the Maritime Museum instead, which was very cool.
The replica of the “Amsterdam” was fantastic.
We got back on the “blue line” for the canal “hop on hop off” boat and cruised around the city for another two hours.
After that we walked around the city seeing more sights until it was time to catch the cab to AMS at 5:00pm
The cab was 40 Euros, to the airport, and was in this dandy Mercedes-Benz van
We weren’t leaving until the next day, but we decided to stay the night at the Yotel inside AMS. I stayed at the Yotel last year on my ZRH-AMS-DTW trip and was impressed by it. Mom and dad liked my photos of it from before and wanted to stay there.
I had the same small cabin I had when I flew ZRH-AMS-DTW last year. It is very small, but it has everything that you need for a restful night.
Mom and dad had the biggest room in the Yotel. For some reason or another they were given the family sized room, which had a queen bed and two bunk beds. It is also the disabled room and had a massive bathroom. The big room was nice, but it didn’t have the Yotel feel.
The downside to staying at the Yotel the night before your flight is that you have to bring all your bags through passport control and then go and check them in the morning.
We had some cheese burgers and headed off to bed.
I was told, by a KLM agent, to expect long lines at check in and to be inline by 7am for our 10:35am flight, which began the boarding process at 9am. We were out the door at the Yotel at 6:40am and at the KLM bag drop desk at 7am. It turned out that there wasn’t much of a line at all, there was only one person in front of us. We dropped our bags and were back inside the terminal by 7:10am.
The coffee dad left inside the terminal, on top of a locker wasn't even cold.
With so much time to kill we sat down and had breakfast.
[Edited 2012-07-13 18:23:57]
We went over to our gate at 9am to find what looked like a plane load of passengers.
The security process went very smoothly, but once through there was not nearly enough chairs for the A330 sized load of people waiting to get on the plane.
We began to actually board the plane at 10:05am. Everyone was on board rather quickly and we pushed back right on time.
The flight was uneventful and the weather was just about perfect, once we got above the rain clouds.
Lunch was served and mom and I had the Greek salad with grille chicken dad had the lasagna, there was also a choice of Thai chicken.
I began to write my trip report, which I was able to get most of which completed before the battery ran out on the laptop. After that I watched the movie “Office Space”, which I haven’t seen since it was new. I forgot how much I enjoyed that movie and it reminded me how much my job sucked when I worked in a cubicle.
After the movie I played some Trivia Challenge and found most of the aviation questions to be very easy, but probably not for the average person. After that I watched a documentary about the sinking of the German battleship Bismark.
Before we landed we were given a snack of ice cream and a cheese calzone, both of which were very good.
We landed at DTW fifteen minutes ahead of schedule and arrived at the gate at 1pm. Then it was time for the walk to customs, which wasn’t too bad, but it still could have been shorter. We picked the line that turned out to be the wrong one, because several people in it had some sort of issues that required them to stay at customs for very long periods of time. Some other customs lines opened up so we moved over to them and were through in no time. We gathered our bags and went through the second check and were out the door.
We grabbed a taxi and headed back to my house, which ended another great European vacation
[Edited 2012-07-13 18:30:12]
[Edited 2012-07-13 18:36:40]