‘Excuse moi!’ An irate old lady said while she pushed me aside in the Delicatessen of Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam. I overlooked the slight to politeness as I was far too busy scanning the shelves for Stroop Waffles, a Dutch delicacy that I absolutely had to get. I had already traversed the entire length of Holland Boulevard to find this and already time was running out. I had just one hour left before I had to board the plane to London and I could feel my back tingling with sweat running down. Perhaps the old lady was irate at the smell of sweat…
So why did I need those Stroop Waffles?
I wasn’t in Schiphol Airport purely just to find out what activities and features there is in one of the world’s busiest airports, oh no. I was sneakily challenged by the people at KLM UK over the course of 24 hours I spent in Schiphol Airport with my reputation at stake. I was a world discover so I should be able to ‘discover’ things in the airport during my #24SchipholKLM Campaign.
Thus FIVE Challenges were set and I was utterly ready to complete them through blood, sweat and tears.
1. Take an Inspirational Video of Aircraft that are Sitting on the Runway or at the Gates from the Roof Terrace.
Hmm, I had to plan this carefully. The Roof or Panoramic Terrace was based ‘land side’ after going through passport control into Amsterdam. So I had to wait until the first day ended so I could leave to go to my accommodation and check out the terrace there. Unfortunately, it was pitch black to film anything so I had the ingenious idea to come back at sunrise. I did, and what a video!
If you are ever going to catch a flight from Schiphol Airport, I would really recommend checking out the Panoramic Terrace before going through passport control into ‘air-side’. It’s one of the best features of the place and I spent a good two hours up there watching the planes take off amid the warm glow of the rising sun.
2. See how many destinations you can spot that KLM are flying to on that day from Schiphol Airport and which destination has the most flights
Ah, it’s all about plane spotting. Ever six hour intervals, I would sit down with a cocktail from the Dutch Bar in front of the departure boards found all over Schiphol Airport and make notes of the KLM departure destinations. I assumed South America would prove to be the most popular…little did I know I was wrong…
London City 1
New Delhi 1
North and Central America
Mexico City 1
New York 1
So to my surprise, most of the flights were to places in Europe. But over the course of 24 hours, the most popular single destination was Beijing. Seems like the Chinese want to get around!
3. Play the Airport Piano at Schiphol Airport
This challenge I absolutely relished. Although, I did have to pick my timing right. I couldn’t bash away at 10pm to the passengers trying to sleep and it all depended on whether if anyone was sleeping next to it as I found on plenty of occasions. But luckily, I found a time…to play ‘Merrily We Go Around!’
4. Find a Transfer desk and re-print your return boarding pass – demonstrating the ease of the self-service machines
I thought I would have difficulty with this. But actually, it was far too easy! There are KLM Self Service Machines everywhere! Whether near the Check-in desks on ‘land-side’ or at the end of Lounge 2 where there are a gazillion of those! So armed with just my passport and my details, I managed to print quickly and easily all within two minutes. Simple.
5. Find the following Dutch delicacies in duty-free to share with family & friends once home – 1) Pickled Herring 2) Gouda Cheese 3) Stroop Waffles
As I stood in the delicatessen after being elbowed aside by the irate lady, with a roll of Gouda Cheese and a jar of Pickled Herring in my hands, all that was left was the Stroop Waffles. I had an hour to go and I’ve just spent two hours looking for them in the many shops that line the promenade that is Holland Boulevard. Suddenly, as the sun parted the clouds outside, a ray of sunlight blasted forth into the shop and lit up the product that I’ve been searching for. This is the Dutch Holy Grail. STROOP WAFFLES!
Buying them altogether, I went to the luxury confines of the KLM Business Crown Lounge and marvelled at the food that I could eat with my family. All the challenges were completed and I could sit back and have a glass of wine.
So, what did my family and I think?
Gouda Cheese – Goes really well with crackers and very more-ish. As a family of cheese lovers, this was eaten up rather quickly at Christmas!
Stroop Waffles – This is truly a taste sensation and very much-needed on a Sunday morning!
Pickled Herrings – This was a horror to my mother but my father and I loved them tremendously..especially eating them in front of my mother!
So there you have it! The Challenges were sneakily set by KLM UK and thus completed by the very best travel blogger in this world…me!
If you want to follow more adventures at Schiphol Airport, why not check out the #24SchipholKLM Page?