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Southamton - Amsterdam E195

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Nothing like crossing the channel to the continent.  I flew British Caledonian, my only flight on a BAC-111, from Gatwick to Amsterdam waaaaay back in '84.  The only other two times I crossed the channel were the Dover-Calais ferry and one month later, the Calais-Dover ferry in 2017.  Those were the first "ships" vs. boats I had ever been on in my life, I had never seen anything so big as I strolled from one end of the main deck to another, it just seemed like the ferry went on forever.  I still preferred flying across the channel because not many among us have had the opportunity to fly a BAC-111 or on British Caledonian. 

I liked Gatwick a bit better than Heathrow in '84, less crowded, a more "European" vibe.  Even in 2017 Heathrow seemed too much like a US airport.  I stayed neared Schiphol at the airport Radisson in 2017.  Although I did not fly out of that airport, I did use it as easy means to get from my hotel to Amsterdam's central station and district without having to rely on my tour guide the first night we were there, otherwise I would have done nothing that night, instead I was able to roam some of Amsterdam's more quaint canals and take many peaceful pictures too.

Amsterdam thru the "back door" I recommend, without seeing the usual tourist traps like the red light district, or the fast food stands on every street corner, or the marijuana coffee shops, which are a trap as far as I am concerned.  Amsterdam is all about old architecture, a survivor's city, Anne Frank and her legacy, and lots of art, and an open way of living.  I find Phoenix where I live, out of all US cities, very close to Amsterdam in style.  We are told we are a conservative city, it is simply not true, Phoenix is a world city now, like Amsterdam, Washington DC, and other world cities across the world and our cultures.  Our International airport, being in the heart of town, is a great asset for our big convention business, for our big tech industry, and for our airline base--SouthWest and American, both fill a big hub. 

When I stayed in Amsterdam visiting it on my own in '91, I stayed in Haarlem, a nice old town about thirty minutes away by train.  I stayed as the only guest in a bed and breakfast the train station booked for me, for a whopping $40.00 a night (a bargain in big tourist areas like Amsterdam).  I had a comfy room, my hosts gave me a wonderful breakfast, and their pet poodle would sleep with me while I was there, a therapy poodle, lol.  When I went to breakfast in the morning the poor bugger would just revel at my feet, thinking I was some God Like poodle figure for the poodle mindset.  My hosts were surprised, they told me, on how their pet took to me but pets have always been attracted to me, all types of animals.  When I go to the zoo even the Camels rush to the fenceline to meet me, and instead of spitting on me (which they can do), they preen my hair and make these cute moaning camel sounds.  My animal enjoyment has come out of my flying enjoyment, enjoying the places and cultures our screenshots posters share here.


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