Towards the end of 2019, KLM pointed out to me that my small, but usable, stash of Flying Blue miles would soon be expiring, and that I needed to fly SkyTeam again if I wanted to keep them alive. The easiest way to do this was to fly KLM (via Amsterdam) for one of my Spring 2020 visits to London – and if I was going to do that, I reckoned, it would be verging on criminal not to build in a short visit to the Dutch capital. When I mentioned my plans to Bruce, he reminded me that KLM also serves Norwich, a city that had been on my personal wish-list for many years. That’s how I ended up booking an ‘open jaw’ EDI-AMS-LHR / NWI-AMS-EDI itinerary that would save my miles and turn my third Spring 2020 visit to London into a little three-city tour.
With all that decided, I took the 0915 flight from Edinburgh to Amsterdam on Friday 13 March, arriving into Schiphol Airport shortly before noon local time. (This was ten days prior to the imposition of lockdown in the UK.) Following lunch in the airport and a train transfer to Amsterdam city centre, I checked into the Kimpton De Witt hotel, just a few minutes’ walk from Amsterdam Centraal station.
In the limited time available, I took a reasonably long walk from my hotel to the Concertgebouw concert hall, taking in many ‘standard’ city-centre sights, including the station, Dam Square (with the Royal Palace, De Nieuwe Kerk and Nationaal Monument), Rokin Canal, the Mint Tower, Heineken brewery and Museumplein (the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, Urban Museum and Concertgebouw).
I returned to base by tram and spent a good chunk of the evening in the Kimpton De Witt’s attractive Super Lyan bar, enjoying a couple of cocktails and some light bar food, aware that I would be moving on first thing in the morning.