May 13th – Fly into Amsterdam

This is not entirely a holiday, am Business travelling to EU for 3 weeks and Nita is tagging along – the girls are older and want to do things by themselves, which gave Nita a chance to get some “me” time.

It was still a hard slog for both me and Nita to get out, I have been massively swamped at work in the last few weeks and could not help Nita much with planning her side, whilst she was super scared / nervous on leaving Neha & Pooja behind. For the last 2 weeks Nita had been planning what to cook for the girls and freeze it, what to prepare for them and more importantly getting both the girls more hands on with cooking. After a crazy 2 weeks, the girls seemed ready, they both were now more excited to be cooking entirely themselves, plus we had so much family and friends support (we are truly blessed), it was really not that stressful towards the end.
In between this craziness, Nita was sorting out our weekend bookings in EU, lots of great places and restaurants to visit and book.

12th May 9pm was our Emirates flight from Brisbane to Dubai. We got to the airport just after 6:15pm. This was my first visit to the international terminal since the COVID lockdowns begun in 2020. Place was so empty with all shops closed on level 4!
Emirates had the only counters opened with long queues.
After a 30 min queue time, we were finally checked-in and through immigration quickly – one thing with COVID travel, the immigration queues were non-existent!!

Editing Pooja’s essay before boarding our flight

Our flight departed about 15 mins late (apparently the catering truck was stuck behind the aircraft!!).
It was going to be a long 14 hours of sitting in a tin can before it lands in Dubai.
The aircraft was great, we were in an A380 and I was very impressed with the Economy seats, leg room and comfort level was up there – obviously business class would be amazing but this was good. Food was not the best, or maybe Malaysian airlines had us spoiled – during our last EU vacation , all their meals to and from EU were super duper – 5 stars to Malaysian airlines for food, with Emirates I would rate it at 4.
Although the seats were comfortable, there is something about being able to sleep in a seat and not lying down…this I cannot get used to. The most I could get was around an 30-45 mins of sleep at a time. My downloads of the Netflix show – F1 Drive to Survive, kept me going in between. Nita did manage to get a bit more sleep than me but again that was not much in the scheme of things.

We landed in Dubai 30 mins ahead of schedule, it was 4:45 am local time with a 3 hour layover. First some real food, we opted for the Lebanese Breakfast – the place looked great. Food was much better than what we was provided on Emirates flight – good to eat some real food. What did surprise me was how expensive Dubai food was. A single croissant cost me $9 AUD – and I thought Darvella was expensive in Bulimba ;( !!

Nice Lebanese eatery @ Dubai airport
Breakfast time

Breakky revive done, time to look around a bit but the airport, unfortunately this airport is just not that interesting. Singapore airport is much better for a layover with more to do. It was getting time to checkin again for the next 7 hour leg to Amsterdam.

We got lucky with seating this time, had a vacant seat in our 3 row seats, much more room to relax. Flight departed on time and soon I was nodding off. This time around Nita was not able to get much sleep and since I was very already sleep deprived, it was hard for me to stay awake, and soon nodded off.

great when you have a spare seat – more stretching room!!

Flight was un-eventfull and soon we were landed in Amsterdam – local time was 1:30pm. The next step – immigration was hell!! The queues were so long, the entire immigration hall was filled. It took about an hour for us to get through it and then finally collected our luggage and out into a Taxi headed for Utrecht.

Arrived in Utrecht at our hotel in just over 30 mins, it was time to freshen up with a hot shower and then we hit the Utrecht streets. Nita wanted to get a feel of the place and get a bearing of where things were. I feel Utrecht is a smaller version of Amsterdam, much more relaxed without the tourists flocking.

Stopped for a coffee and cake, needed a coffee fix – something that was interesting, no one knew what lactose free milk was or did not stock it??? Nita was not impressed and she was then opting for English breakfast tea.

Back in the room for a bit more rest before heading out to the Miyagi & Jones Asian fusion place that Nita had booked from Brisbane.
Stepping outside, it was nice crisp fresh cold air. Well not COLD as per EU standards but cold for us. It was good walking around in freshness.

Quick 10 min walk and we were at Miyagi & Jones, the place was tucked in a alleyway with a few restaurants. Got seated in a nice area and soon were being explained the ordering process – via a TABLET!
Food was super duper, Asian fusion it was. We ordered a few small dishes to try em all – unfortunately I did not take pics of all of these. Great nite and finished off with a very nice oreo cheesecake … yumm!

It was then back to the hotel to hit the bed and get some much needed rest from the long flight.

About dharmeshkalyan

Have always loved travelling and will continue to pursue this love. Favourite Travel quotes: “Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” – Ibn Battuta “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.” – Saint Augustine
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