Landing in Amsterdam

I landed in Amsterdam and was greeted by the windiest city ever…okay that’s an exaggeration but it was super windy.  So windy and cold that I had to hold everything to my body as I walked out of the airport and looked for my shuttle.  I used the Connexxion Hotel Shuttle which picks up by the public transportation outside of the arrivals level.  There’s an “I Amsterdam” sign out there when you arrive in case you don’t want to go on a hunt for it when you get into the city.  I loaded into my shuttle and got ready for the drive into Amsterdam.

I was staying at the Banks Mansion right near city center so I was actually the last person in the shuttle to get dropped off.  My hotel was right along one of the many canals in the city which was fantastic and helped slightly with the navigation of the city.  I was dropped off on the main road, walked into my hotel and checked in.  If you get a chance to stay here, I would recommend it.  I got it for a decent price on Expedia and it was totally worth it.  It is far enough removed from the hustle and bustle of the Central Terminal and all the major touristy areas which is nice but still within walking distance of everything.  Along with that, the hotel is an all inclusive boutique hotel which means that it had amenities I wasn’t even aware of.  For example, my hotel room came with whiskey, gin and cognac for free in the row.  The mini bar was completely free and there were free stroop waffles that they refilled every single night.  FREE stroop waffles.  I mean, how can you not be super excited about this?  If you have never had a stroop waffle, they are a Holland treat made up of waffles with caramel in the middle.  The waffles are crunchier than the American waffle and significantly thinner.  It’s almost like a cookie.  You can also get them coated in other flavors like chocolate or other fillings.  Regardless, if you find a chance to eat them, I highly recommend it.  Delicious.

After I settled into my room and what would be my home base for the next four days, I changed out of my airplane clothes and put on some warm clothes.  Prior to leaving for Europe I had purchased the “I Amsterdam City Card” because there was a special on the website. You can buy these cards for a specific duration of time while you’re in Amsterdam.  I believe it is in 24 hour increments.  These cards will get you discounts around the city, free public transportation, free entry or at least discounted entry to most museums, a free canal cruise and some free items if you’re willing to go find them.  After Oslo I had decided that I wanted to walk around most of the cities that I was in so the “I Amsterdam City Card” did not give me that much of a benefit but I definitely used it for the museum entries.

After settling in, I needed to make a hike over to the Central Terminal to pick up my “I Amsterdam City Card.”  You can pick it up at the airport but the visitor center in my arrival area was packed with people and I didn’t want to miss my shuttle so I decided I would just go pick up my card from the Central terminal instead.

And so, I began my adventure to get this card.  And boy was it an adventure.



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