In this last post of our New Zealand travels, we are coming in to land at Schipol Airport outside Amsterdam.
It’s just before 6.00 a.m. on a January winter’s day and it’s dark outside. I try and take photos of the lights beneath us as we come in to land, and end up with more arty streaks of light that are more abstract art than realistic photos.
At least at this time of the morning it doesn’t take so long to get though the airport.
It’s a long way from gate to the baggage claims and exit but there’s a wheelchair waiting on hand for me and we decline assistance in being wheeled, Himself does that whilst I take our hand baggage on my lap.
We have some excellent neighbours who like many city Dutch people, can drive but don’t own a car so we have a long standing arrangement: they run us to and from the airport in our car and in return they get the use of our car when we are away on holiday.
There is a very good train service to The Hague but if I’m really honest, there’s nothing like stepping off a 14 hour flight and having someone waiting at the airport to help us get home quickly and smoothly.
The only thing is, we loose the wheelchair at the exit and the car is parked miles away in one of the massive car parks so I wait outside in the arrivals hall which is the shortest walk away, whilst the rest of the family quick march to the car and then come and pick me up.
The announcement from the captain of the aircraft just before we land warned us that it’s -4 Centigrade (28 Fahrenheit) outside, a short sharp shock compared with the tropical temperatures we left behind last night.
As I wait, I take a photo of the second control tower I’ve seen in a less than a day, the moon is out along side it, cars are covered in thick frost and my breath makes little clouds in front of me. Luckily the car arrives after just a few minutes and soon we are sitting inside with the heater on full blast joining the early morning traffic on the motorway home.