Staying overnight at YOTELAIR at Schiphol

Premium cabin at YOTELAIR at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.

Premium cabin at YOTELAIR at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.

You have probably all experienced it, long connections at the airport between flights. Long layovers can be a pain in the ass, but it does not have to be like that. 

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is a major connecting hub, and for many visitors that means long layovers, often in connection with long and exhausting flights. Make most of the time and get some nice rest by check in at YOTELAIR for a few hours, or even for the night.  

Entering what I named the pink light district, the dimmed light and the absence of sounds gave me an instant feeling I would have a good night sleep. Unlike the red-light district downtown, you come here for rest, not different kinds of entertainment. The room can be rented by the hour, or you can spend the whole night. Just remember to shut the window blinds so you do not become the entertainment…

The room is well exploited, and has everything you need. The bed is made up as a couch when you enter, with a folding table just in front of it. Above that, there is a TV, and several electric sockets including USB, to fit all zones. Genius in case you sent your adapter in the checked luggage…

If you did not send any luggage and have a fair share of carry-on, there is a lot of space for your belongings under the bed. 

The bathroom is surprisingly spacious, with a huge monsoon rain shower, and body wash and shampoo included. The restroom is separated with a glass wall, but there is a curtain to cover it up. If you prefer more privacy, you can send your travel partner to the reception to sit and enjoy the free coffee, tea or hot chocolate that is served 24 hours.

The bathroom in a Premium cabin at YOTELAIR at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. There is also a monsoon rain shower.

The bathroom in a Premium cabin at YOTELAIR at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. There is also a monsoon rain shower.

We arrived around 21.30, and I was honestly surprised that all the shops and restaurants were closed already. We had eaten dinner at the last airport, but if you are hungry, it is good to know that you can order food and drinks at the reception 24/7.

Are you the same as me, always a light sleeper when you know you have to wake up early and do not completely trust your mobile to wake you? The reception provide you an extra alarm clock, just in case.

Then it is time to flatten out the bed by using the electronic buttons on the side, and tuck yourself in for a good night (or some hours) sleep in the comfortable bed.

Just remember to calculate time to exit the passport control in the morning…

How to get there:
If you arrive at A, B, C or D, you have to go through the passport control to get to YOTELAIR. If you arrive late it might seem closed, but there will be a security guard there to let you through. Once you get through, go upstairs, as YOTELAIR is situated more or less just above the passport control.

Are you not flying through Schiphol? Do not despair; you find YOTELAIR at London Heathrow and Gatwick and at Charles de Gaulle in Paris as well.

Book your next comfortable airport stay at www.yotel.com.

The mills of Kinderdijk – A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Windmills are one of the first things that comes to mind when I think of the Netherlands. In Kinderdijk they have 19 of them, being the only place in the world with so many gathered in a relatively small area. That fact is fascinating in itself, but the area is also very beautiful, with green fields as far as the eye can see, and the carved canals cutting through them.
Mills in Kinderdijk
Mills in Kinderdijk 2
The area consist of the windmills (off course), Museum Mill Nederwaard, Museum Mill Blokweer, and the Visitors’ Centre Wisboom Pumping Station, with boats taking you to the different locations. It is also possible to walk on the public foot and cycle path along the canals. This is open all year, and free of charge.

We decided to go for the package with the Canal Hopper boat, Museum Mill Blokweer and the Visitors’ Centre Wisboom Pumping Station. Buying the ticket in one, gives you a better deal. After getting the ticket, we jumped into the boat, slowly sliding through the calm water, reflecting the green grass and the mills. Just fabulous!
Mills in Kinderdijk 1
Arriving at the dock for Museum Mill Blokweer, we jumped off. The big round stone mill stood before us, with the large sails turning in the wind. Swosh, swosh, swosh. The inside of the mill told the story and lifestyle of the miller and his family living there. Even though watching the mill was time consuming, they still had to make their own living by growing food and fishing.
Museum Mill Blokweer in Kinderdijk
The mill wheel at Museum Mill Blokweer in Kinderdijk
Livingroom in Museum Mill Blokweer in Kinderdijk
The purpose of the windmills was to pump out the water, preventing the land to be flooded. A large part of the Netherlands is actually situated below sea level! One side pumped the water up one level, the other pushed it to the next, until the water finally reached the river. The 19 mills working together with two steam pumps could get rid of 450.000 liter per minute! To me that sounded quite impressive, until I heard they are now building a pump that can do 2,5 million liters!!… But still!

We got back on the boat, continuing along the rows of windmills. A beautiful and peaceful sight. The ones on the right side were built in 1738, the left side two years later. The oldest was actually built as early as 1440, but unfortunately, it was made by wood and burned down. However, a replica was recently rebuilt.
Mills in Kinderdijk 3
Mills in Kinderdijk 4
Finishing off with what might actually had been better as a start; the visitors center in Wisboom Pumping Station. We watched a film telling the story about the area, including stories from different persons in the community and their different roles in the big picture. This gave a better overall picture of the importance of the water management system.

Fun fact: When standing still, the wind sails were set in different positions, each symbolizing a specific meaning. Usually it was used to tell when to pump or when to stop, but it was also used to tell about baptisms and other events.

How to get there:
We came by our own car, but there are also several ways to get to Kinderdijk by public transport, including the waterbus if you are staying in Rotterdam.
The address to enter in your navigation system is Nederwaard 1, 2961 AS Kinderdijk.

Read other posts from Netherlands and our road trip through Europe. 

The overnight stay in the sandy dune!

A large part of the coastline of the island Texel is covered by sand. By my opinion, our campsite had most of that! That is meant in a good way!

Most organized camp sited I have been to (not that I am an experienced camper) have been situated in a more or less flat, grass covered area. Texelcamping Kogerstrand was nothing like what I have seen before. By first glimpse it seemed like people had just set up their tents anywhere, but we soon realized that it was all a part of a thorough system.

All the possible camping spots (of different sizes) were marked by numbers. You could also get electricity on some of them, but mark that you either have to bring your own converter, or buy one in the reception.

We decided to go for one without electricity, and were assigned spot nr 40 on the right side of the reception.

Our camp site at Texelcamping Kogerstrand on Texel.

Our camp site at Texelcamping Kogerstrand on Texel.

The camping is car free, but you are granted permission to enter by car twice during your stay; when you arrive and when you depart so you can unload and reload. The car is parked free on designated areas.

Driving through the camping we soon realized that some were way more serious campers than we were. With big tents and cable TV, they were set for the whole season, and more to come.

Arriving at our campsite, the wind decided to challenge us. Setting camp in a sandy dune as the wind work against you is not the best trick for the inexperienced. But we managed to put in all the plugs to keep it down. For a while, at least. It might be out of inexperience, but we felt that we had to go check on the plugs every occasionally to be sure. And they were certainly spread all over from time to time, so our worries were not without reason. With that said, it was an exceptional windy day.

Tent plugged!

Tent plugged!

But it did not take long until it looked like this. Suitable to have that beer then...

But it did not take long until it looked like this. Suitable to have that beer then…

As I love the sea, we got some beers and wine and found shelter from the wind between the beach houses. Just appreciating the peaceful moment with the waves dying of at the beach and a person walking the dog occasionally passing by. And enjoyed the sunset, off course!

This way to the beach!

This way to the beach!

Beach houses by Texelcamping Kogerstrand on Texel
Beach houses on Texel
Beach by Texelcamping Kogerstrand on Texel
Beach by Texelcamping Kogerstrand on Texel2
Beautiful sunset at Texel
There were several facility houses on the campsite, and we never experienced any queue. For showering, we needed to top up our shower cards we got during check in. The price was 0.40 Euro per minute and it counts down as the water run. The toilets are nice and clean as well.

Grocery stores, restaurants and bars are within short walking distance, and the beach is just over the hill, so if you are going camping on Texel, I would really recommend Texelcamping Kogerstrand.

Street in De Koog

Street in De Koog

Colourful houses in De Koog on Texel

Bar in De Koog.

Bar in De Koog.

 

I amsterdam City Card

The I amsterdam City Card is a great way to explore everything the city has to offer. Including the things you did not expect to see.

Having only one day to discover the city, we figured the best way was to get the I amsterdam City Card to easily enter the sights. And it includes the public transport as well. For us that was especially useful, since we stayed outside the city centre.

Since we were in Amsterdam, we off course we had to do a canal cruise. You can choose between two canal cruise companies and get a free ticket. Sitting in a boat, floating passed the bricked houses of different shapes and colours is a very nice and relaxing way to see a lot of the city. And from a different angle.
Amsterdam canals1
Amsterdam canals2
Amsterdam canals3
Amsterdam canals4
Having passed quite a few houseboats, I got a bit curious what they looked like inside. Good thing then that there is a Houseboat Museum. The space inside the houseboat was carefully planned to make the most of the room available. Since it is a museum, they also had posters with general information about houseboats and the life in the canals.

Houseboat museum

Houseboat museum

Houseboat museum2
Our next city card stop was Museum Ons’ Lieve Heer op Solder, or Our Lord in the Attic, for us none Dutch speaking. In the attic of a 17th century canal house, you will find a hidden Catholic church, dating back to the era when Catholics were not allowed to practice their faith in public. The church room in itself was very beautiful, and absolutely a hidden gem. Literally.

Museum Ons’ Lieve Heer op Solder. Or Our Lord in the Attic.

Museum Ons’ Lieve Heer op Solder. Or Our Lord in the Attic.

Museum Ons’ Lieve Heer op Solder, or Our Lord in the Attic2

The museum has more to it than just the attic church, but since we were already running out of time, that was what we chose to focus on.

See all the advantages with the I amsterdam City Card 2014. In my opinion it is worth it!