Friday, May 2, 2014

Welcome to Amsterdam!

Myself, some of our extended family and a few friends were supposed to set off for a Mediterranean adventure on Thursday, May 1, 2014. We were going to be flying to Venice, on Thursday, May 1, 2014, arriving on Friday, May 2, 2014. On Sunday, May 4, 2014, we would be embarking on a cruise with stops in: Bari, Italy, Katakolon, Greece, Santorini, Greece, Piraeus, Greece, Corfu, Greece, Dubrovnik, Croatia.

It is a six-hour time difference and even longer combination of flights! As it happens, we had a bit of a delay to our trip. Italy, Greece and Croatia would have to wait a bit longer for us. We had a serious lack of internet while away, so I will be posting about our experiences over the next week or so.

After myself, mom, Esther, Brian and Betty Jean arrived at the airport in Toronto nice and early, we found out that there was bad weather in New York and they changed our flights . . . to 6:00am the next day!

We weren't having it, so at the last minute, mom and I were sent off to a KLM flight to Venice, connecting through Amsterdam. It all happened so quickly, that we didn't have any time to chat with our other three travel companions and had to simply run off. We now have passport stamps from the Netherlands! I was pretty excited because many of the people I worked with (and will be working with again) are from a Dutch company and I’ll get to tell them about my stop next time I see them.

The food on the KLM flight was awesome and I even had a beer to go along with my dinner. It all came in cute little containers and tasted pretty good! It also seemed like they never stopped dropping by with drinks and snacks (although you could sleep and they would leave you be), which made our unexpected detour much more pleasant. I napped a bit, read a bit, visited mom a few rows up and watched a movie, all in addition to the food.

Finally, after our connection at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, we arrived at the Marco Polo Airport in Venice, Italy! We were hoping that shortly after this we would see our three missing travel companions, but they didn’t seem to be showing up. After some other family members and friends arrived on a flight from Paris, France, where they had already been exploring prior to our cruise, we gave up hope that the others would be arriving today.

Exhausted, we headed into Venice on a vaporetto, a type of waterbus, after a long hike out to the dock in the rain. We rolled our suitcases onto what we thought was the spacious boat and had a seat. I commented how smart it was to be able to roll suitcases on since this was the airport stop. Then, the actual vaporetto showed up . . . and it appeared to be very tiny! We had to lug our suitcases across the gangplank, where they were piled into the top section of the boat, while we crawled down underneath. We watched in sadness during the trip as rain poured down on a few suitcases belonging to members of our group. Hopefully our accommodations would have lots of blankets to warm us up, since our clothes obviously wouldn’t be doing that!

We ended up taking the wrong vaporetto and were a bit far from the apartments we would be staying in. We had to cross the Realto Bridge, which is composed of approximately a million steps, with our giant, soggy suitcases in tow. Luckily, two very nice tourists helped me out because I am just too small to be dragging a bag that large up and down stairs! We finally ended up in our apartments and after trying to get some messages through to our missing travel companions, mom and I passed out for the night in a series of naps. We hoped that this would get us on Italy time for the rest of our trip!

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