Friday, September 30, 2011

Budapest - Amsterdam

Up early for no good reason.  Finished off remaining supplies for  breakfast and read until 10:45 when the taxi arrived.  Wrestled the growing armada of luggage into the 1 ½ phonebooth-sized antique elevator to the main floor, then down a flight of stairs to the sidewalk and into the taxi.  The thirty minute trip through Pest’s slow morning traffic cost a mere E22 and put us into the departures area, where only four counter agents were struggling with a horde of humanity.

Reggie flashed her cane and bandaged ankle at an attendant and got us shuffled to a special counter where the wait was minimized and boarding passes were dispensed.  This gave us just enough time to augment our meagre breakfast with a sticky-bun and cappuccino, before struggling through security to the gate.  After a brief wait, we finally sat down in the spotlessly clean and very comfortable KLM 737.  Push-back from the gate was only delayed five minutes which we made up in the two-hour flight (over five countries) to Amsterdam.  En route, a sandwich and free (!) wine were handed out, to our delight.

We had made reservations at the Best Western Amsterdam Airport Hotel Uithoorn.  To our surprise, the Best Western shuttle when it arrived at the airport’s waiting area, didn’t go to that hotel and we were forced to taxi the 11kms.  This E44 ride was an unpleasant surprise, since one assumes that the inclusion of the word “Airport” in the name of a hotel means that is it at least near the airport.  With the cost of the return taxi tomorrow added in, it would have been cheaper to stay at the Airport Sheraton which is walking distance from the terminal.

Adding insult to injury, our hotel’s “restaurant” is closed on weekends (after all, who travels on weekends?) and we’ll have to walk through the wilds of suburbia to find food.  The hotel does offer breakfast though, for E12.50 each.  Pass.

Lesson learned.  Google Earth your hotel before booking, since the name is apparently meaningless.  And don’t stay at the Best Western Amsterdam Airport Hotel Uithoorn or any other Best Western that has another town’s name added after “Amsterdam Airport” because it probably won’t be near the airport either.


Paris and home tomorrow.  Just in time, I think.

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