Amsterdam is a picturesque city filled with endless canals and gorgeous architecture, and it pretty much shuts down around 2AM. This was only problematic since I’d cleverly planned my 14-hour layover at Schiepol Airport to allow me time to wander the city, assuming it would be open all night for me to take some pictures, drink lots of coffee and, of course, get that all-important stamp in my passport.
I’ve been to Amsterdam’s main airport a half-dozen times, but I’d never passed through customs, and the rule is you have not officially been to a country unless you physically set foot in said country and/or a customs officer reviews your passport. Airports do not count. I was determined to cross Holland off the list.
Maybe it’s the red-light reputation, but I figured finding a bar or coffee shop to wile away the night until my 9AM flight the next morning would be easy, but I was back at the train station by 3AM, unable to find a comfortable seat anywhere in town. Still, it was a fun seven hours, highlighted by this meal:
Here we have a Dutch dish, preceded by beer and pea soup, which came with a little slice of rye bread and some smoked bacon. The main dish is Stamppot, or some such word that may or may not be Dutch and/or simply misspelled, and it’s a giant meatball the size of a softball, with a ton of bacon, leeks, potatoes and gravy and holy God have mercy was it good. As evidenced by the final photo of the empty plate.
One more country crossed off the list. Time well spent.