Amsterdam to Portland

posted December 6, 2010 by Holly Hayes part of trip: The Great European Road Trip

We spent our last two nights in Europe by the airport in Amsterdam in the unique citizenM hotel, which I've stayed in before and like quite a lot. I asked for rooms on an upper floor with views of the planes and Sarah and I both really enjoyed it. It was a cozy sanctuary from the winter weather outside. View from the hotel window. It was completely soundproofed and amazingly silent despite the closeness of the planes. The room, with shower on the right. It's really small! But new, comfortable and interesting. You can choose any color you want for those lights above the shower and toilet. The bed is even bigger than a king - it's almost square! Quite comfy, too. We arrived on Thursday afternoon and spent the rest of the day just checking out shops and restaurants in the airport and relaxing in the hotel. A huge selection of on-demand movies are included for free, and we had a great time watching them propped up in the comfy bed in my room, with international snacks from the airport supermarket. We watched "Up in the Air" (my second viewing), which is fantastic, and another one I can't remember now. On Friday we took a 13-minute train ride into central Amsterdam. The main goal was to get Sarah a good Dutch pancake - I hadn't been able to locate a pancake house during my short walking expedition in Utrecht. I had looked up recommendations online the night before and found one that was conveniently located for our sightseeing. But alas, when we arrived we found it had gone out of business! That was disappointing. There was another one just up the street, though, and it wasn't bad. Here is Sarah's pancake with cherries, ice cream and whipped cream. After lunch, we visited the Anne Frank House, then took a tram to the Van Gogh Museum. Both sights were excellent but unfortunately don't allow photos inside. So here are a few general pics of snowy Amsterdam instead: Within a few hours, we were both very ready to get out of the cold and back to the cozy hotel! We picked up a Burger King dinner at the airport, hung out and watched some TV in my room, then went our separate ways to pack. As it had been snowy and below freezing for days, I'd been closely watching the planes from my window and checking the departures online, hoping our flight wouldn't be affected. On Saturday morning, it looked good - it wasn't too snowy and the planes were taking off regularly, with only short delays here and there. We made our way to the airport at about 8:20 AM (it was quite a bit darker than shown in this photo, taken the day before). It is very nice to be able to walk to the airport and not have to factor in potential problems with traffic! We had some technical issues with our e-ticket, caused by who knows what, that required us to stand in the long check-in line instead of using a self-service kiosk. That was a bummer, mainly because it used up the time I had intended to spent looking for Paul, a French bakery chain I love, which advance research had revealed has a location in Gate D. Sad. But we made it to the gate on time, which is the main thing! In Amsterdam, security is done right at the gate, which is kind of nice. We were interviewed about our reasons for traveling, where we'd been, and who packed our luggage, then put our bags through the metal detector and went through the body scanner. We both passed with flying colors, so got to skip the subsequent patdown. We also got to keep our shoes on, which is a nice bonus. The weather was looking good while we waited to board. But by the time we were settled on the plane, conditions had deteriorated considerably! More snow than I've ever seen in Europe began to come down, swirling hard. And so we sat at the gate. For nearly four hours. But eventually the snow let up, the runways were cleared again, and we slowly taxied over to the de-icing station. De-icing was a new experience for both of us and was rather interesting. Worryingly, the snow began to fall again during the process (as shown in the iPhone photo above), and I thought for sure we'd have to go back to the gate and do it all over again later. But thankfully, we finished up and headed straight for the runway before it got too bad, and were able to take off. The flight itself was ten and a half hours. It was really long but not too bad otherwise. We had good seats in row 11, right behind business class, so it didn't feel quite as cramped as it could have and we were able to get off the plane quickly after landing. However, it is a little rough to see people happily reclining in their giant seats so close by! Over the Canadian Rockies First glimpse of the Columbia River On the ground at PDX, with Mount Hood in the background. It is so nice to be home.

next: California, here we come!

previous: Trier to Utrecht

Article Info

Page Title
Amsterdam to Portland
Added By
Holly Hayes
Date Published
December 6, 2010
Last Updated
April 15, 2024