Hello, Holland! Or should I say the Netherlands?
My boyfriend is Dutch, and this spring he shared his home country and his family with me. The catalyst of our trip was his brothers wedding. Heading to the Netherlands I was both overjoyed with excitement, and terrified by nerves. As I would be meeting his family and friends for the first time.
Our European adventure started at the Calgary International Airport, awaiting to board our flight to Amsterdam. We flew into Amsterdam on KLM Royal Dutch Airline. KLM is the flag carrier airline of the Netherlands and is the oldest airline in the world still operating under its original name. KLM was founded in 1919; with the airline flying, its first commercial flight in 1920. Today KLM and its affiliate airlines serve more than 133 destinations in 70 countries and five continents.
While the flight from Calgary to Amsterdam is a challenging flight, (you leave at 3:30 pm Calgary time and arrive at midnight Calgary time or 8 in the morning Europe time), the KLM flight crew does everything they can to make your flight as comfortable as possible. My boyfriend, T, is quite tall, and the flight attendants graciously offered us to move seats so he could enjoy a little extra leg room.
On our return flight T even received a complementary upgrade. Sadly, for me, I wasn’t as lucky.
What T likes best about KLM is the food. The KLM menu is pretty tasty (and not just tasty for plane food). You can order special meals in advance, and if you find yourself still ravenous post meal, you can ask the flight attendant for seconds. If they have leftovers- they’ll give you seconds. The airline, unlike many, actually keeps you well feed.
Landing in Schipol can be a bit confusing as the airport is a large hub for European travel. Luckily I had T to follow as we navigated our way through the airport to customs, the baggage area, and then the pickup zone.
European Customs can be slow moving (especially if there are a multitude of international flights arriving at the same time). Expect to wait in line, the Dutch are efficient and will do their best to get the line moving as fast as they can.
Outside of the baggage area, Schipol has a plethora of cafe’s to grab a coffee or a green smoothie at as you wait for your ride.