So I was thinking about starting a blog about my travels and decided now would be a good time to start while I have a little bit of free time!
Thankfully, my flight over actually went by really way easier than I originally expected. The economy cabin on the upper deck of the A380 exceeded expectations. Entire process went significantly easier and was way less stressful and pain free than it would have otherwise been. Boarding was via the business class jetway that goes to the upper deck, which meant it was easy from the beginning as we boarded faster than anyone else in economy. Cabin crew were only taking care of us and premium economy, which is a really small number of seats meaning we got really fast service the whole way there and they were all very attentive and caring about people's requests. The seats were in my opinion of a greater pitch, meaning in layman's terms that I think they had more legroom than your standard economy class seat. Mine backed up against a wall, meaning really good recline and without any guilt of reclining into someone else. Flight actually went by really easily, even though it's one of the longest non stop routes you can take, at 14 hours. I managed to sleep about five of these (I think) which really helped my case. Other than that played a couple games, watched some tv and a movie.
After landing in Dubai, time was way more limited than I originally expected. Had to transfer from A gates to B gates which required getting on the little train thing between terminals. As soon as I came out of this I noticed on the departures screen that EK147 to AMS was already boarding, so I hurried to B15 and basically walked straight onto the plane. This was a bit annoying, was hoping for some time to stretch the legs, get a burger and change out of shorts into pants. But oh well, ended up meaning the trip was relatively short. Boarding on this Emirates flight was also really easy, I was in 48D, which is in the front cabin of the plane and meant we boarded through the front jetway which I believe is used by first class. From here my seat was only about ten rows back from the very front of the plane which was nice. Emirates service was exceptional, hot towels and drinks served pre departure, even in economy was a nice touch. Two meal services, breakfast and lunch, both of which were really quite great, and very attentive staff who always remembered to bring a spare coke if asked for. Also scored big time with a nearly empty flight in economy class, I had two seats to myself, but if I really could be bothered I could have headed further down the back of the plane and taken three of them and leant up against a window. Heaps of people were lying down in rows of four and everything. I'd say it was only about half full in economy.
Landing in Amsterdam was a breeze, got off the plane and went straight to a toilet to change into pants, as you could already feel the cold just in the jetway. Gotta love travelling with only hand baggage, walked straight into the arrivals hall and though the electronic border gates which are only available to those with an EU passport. Scored on that one. After coming out of here I went and got some cash out and topped up my OV Chipkart with €20, also got lucky that there was ten left on it from last time I was here.
Jumped on the train to Amsterdam Centraal and immediately got ticket inspected, luckily I'd remembered to touch on. The girl next to me got a ticket. Only took about ten minutes to get into the city (train network in Holland is truly xcellent). Once I got in I had to liaise with my AirBnb host about checking in and stuff, and had to look for tram 16. Eventually hunted number 16 down, which was a bit confusing as it was in an adjacent tram terminal area that isn't as immediately obvious after coming out of the station. Eventually found it, hopped on and got off at my stop. By this time the cold was really starting to set into my face, everywhere else was covered pretty well. Luckily my apartment is about a 2 minute walk from the tram stop, so this was really easy. Got in, got setup, picked up some groceries then made myself a toasted ham and salami sandwich for dinner. Povo life. I'm trying really hard to conserve money at the moment. But it's easier than you'd expect when things are so cheap. At the supermarket I bought a pack of like 6 sausages, salami, cheese, bread, two minute noodles and a six pack of heineken (the large European cans that are like 500ml here) for a grand total of €16. This was pretty good.
This morning I went out and bought a really nice, warm jacket that's capable of handling the cold that Europe is gonna throw at me. Really happy with it. Then I came back to the apartment to chill out for a bit, and right now I'm about to go out and get some lunch cause I'm really hungry, haven't had a proper meal in ages. Tonight I'm gonna head out and get a few beers somewhere. Maybe red light district or maybe somewhere else, not sure at this stage. Gonna try and stay up as late as possible to get into the time zone. All been really good so far! Will update again tomorrow.