Friday, April 26, 2013

Day 0: Dutch Design In-field - Arrival into Amsterdam

Since I got accepted into the Dutch Design Field School program back in December, it feels like we, the groep, has been preparing all term for when we arrive in the Netherlands.

I took the 16:00 KL0682 flight from Vancouver to Amsterdam travelling with my fellow groepees Kenneth, Steven, and Joanne. The 9-hour flight was long and I guess it was as comfortable as it could be.  We had an adventure as we landed at Schiphol (at 10am) trying to figure out how to get to our AirBnb hotel. Although I have been here in Amsterdam before, I was still disoriented. We took a roundabout trip going down to Amsterdam Centraal and then getting our OVchipkaarts only to go back on the same route to Amsterdam-Sloterdijk to get on the right trams.

We had a difficult time traversing the stations and trains with our luggages having to lug it up and down stairs (and also having to loop back on the same stairs because we went the wrong way). *Kadunk* *Kadunk* *Kadunk* up and down so many sets of stairs.
As we finally got on the right tram down to Bos En Lommer, we spent another half an hour trying to read the directions and walking+looping around in the rain before we found it. Upon finding our apartment at 1pm, we were happy to finally be out of the rain until we saw more stairs, and then commence another session of lugging our suitcases up three flights of classic tiny-step Dutch staircases *Kadunk**Kadunk**Kadunk*.

We were greeted by our host Margarite who was really nice in welcoming us in. Most of us were tired from the flight and we promptly fell asleep and slept away most of the afternoon. We got up around 6pm and got a chance to meet our other AirBnb host Max.

We didn't want to really take the tram somewhere else so we explored the area around our hotel. Explored the Bos En Lommer area a bit and walked for a few hours looking for a place to eat, we wandered to the Westergasfabriek area near Westerpark and had our dinner at Toko MC. This area is really nice with the greenery especially at sunset providing great photography opportunities.

Things that really hit on day 1:
-OVChipkaarts are not the easiest system to learn, especially when you don't know where the check-in stations are at the train stations
-Getting lost in Amsterdam is really easy
-Stay out of the bicycle lanes. No. Really. They will mow you down.

Onwards to Day 1 tomorrow when our in-field experience officially starts!

On the KLM flight!

Untee lugging her stairs down the first wrong stairs detour at Amsterdam-Sloterdijk station

More stairs *kadunk*

Lost in Bos En Lommer

Asking for directions from locals = not helpful

YAY. We found our hotel

The apartment's classic Dutch staircase

Kunstenhuis at Westergasfabriek

The canal by Westerpark

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