Trip Start Feb 21, 2010
Trip End Apr 18, 2010

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Flag of Netherlands  , Noord-Holland,
Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Monday night I arrived at the airport three hours early for my flight to Amsterdam. No wonder flying is such a pain, three hours is a long time to spend in an airport with nothing to do. I was entertained since the power kept turning off and I had a great view of the 'security point' from where I was sitting. Someone would be going through the metal detector and the power would go off so the entire airport would become pitch black, then the lights would come on and the person would be on the other side of the detector and the guard would tell them to proceed! Basically, anyone could get through if they timed it right, I couldn't believe it. If there was a power outage in any other airport it would be chaotic.

The seven hour flight went by pretty fast although I didn't get a wink of sleep. The large Ghanaian man in front of me had reclined his seat so far back that he was practically snoozing on my lap. He was also having a pretty rad sleep because he was snoring up a storm. His snore was so loud that even with my ipod turned up I could still hear him. The guy beside me, 15B,  got so annoyed that he tapped him on the shoulder, woke him up and asked him to quit snoring (which made me laugh for about 20 minutes). The man stopped for a short period of time and then he was at it again. Me and 15B would look at each other, roll our eyes and then I would shake the seat to try to get him to stop. We did a bunch of little things to see if we could get him to stop but were unsuccessful every time. Once 15B even flicked his ear which made him stop for about 30 seconds only and then we was at it again.

We arrived at 5:45 am and I got through immigration and onto the platform just in time for the train that took me to Amsterdam Central. The train takes about 20 minutes and when I arrived the station was really quiet. I started walking and ended up covering a lot of ground in a virtually empty Amsterdam. Except for the red light district, which I didn't find out that I walked through until after when I got a map and took a look at, there were only a handful of people walking around. As the sun rose, it got busier and by about 9 am the bikes were in full force as people made their way to work. The women looked so fashionable in their tights and knee high boots and the men wore tight fitting suits and looked like models. During my walk I came across the Anne Frank House but it didn't open until 9 am so I found a little cafe, had a coffee, breakfast, a joint and people watched. About an hour later I walked back to the house and paid 8.5 Euros to walk through it. It was a nice little tour and I think I'll read her diary again to freshen up. It was really neat to be in the house and to watch videos of her father and friends being interviewed.

I was able to grab the 11:15 am train back to the airport and made my way to the gate easily. The flight from Amsterdam to Toronto was another 7 hours and I slept about 5 hours of it. I probably ate during the remaining 2 hours as KLM constantly feeds you on their flights. We had three meals, two snacks and probably 5 opportunities to get a drink. The poor KLM workers have to wear skin tight, bright blue outfits that look old fashioned and uncomfortable.

My bags were the first to arrive on the belt and I got through customs in no time. I was a bit worried because I was attempting to sneak in avocados from Paul & Laura's tree and was worried that I would get caught. I am such a loser that I had made up this huge story about how they got into my bag just in case my bags were inspected and the avocados were found! When a drug sniffing dog walked by I froze wondering if he specialized in illegal fruit and veggies as well but to my luck he didn't.

I was welcomed back to Canada by my good friend Isabelle and her beautiful 5 month old daughter Stella who is precious. Just us girls will hang out for a few days and then the boys will join us on the weekend.

It's good to be back in Canada, the air smells so good here!
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gramma_nance on

And you thought we wouldn't notice "the joint"? hahaha -- love it! xo Welcome home baby -- we are so excited to see you on Monday! <3

christine on

Hi, I am travelling to India from Netherlands on March 2nd this year and looking for some help when applying for my visa, I am on a strict budget and don't want to get ripped off by travel agents!!! Just need a tourist visa.
I have been doing some research and it seems like a complete minefield. Does anyone know or can recommend a simple way of applying, and can you do it without actually visiting the embassy, i.e. - online or by post? Meanwhile does anyone try to applying visa? Please advice.

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