April 7th, 2013

Ok fellow travelers, here’s my declaration for the day: My favorite airport is Amsterdam’s Schiphol. Granted, I do not say this as someone who claims to have been to so very many of the world’s airports. I’m sure lots of you have, in fact, been to lots more than I may ever get to in my lifetime. Still, I’ve gotten myself around a bit and I love Schiphol.

Describing the last time I flew through Amsterdam, I think, is as good a way as any to justify my argument. I had flown from San Francisco, so was getting off something like an 11-hour flight. My destination, Berlin, would only take 1 little hour more in the air, but I had to wait 6 hours to get on that next plane. I was that horrible, cramped, painful, time-confused kind of exhausted that can make international travel seem like masochistic lunacy and all I wanted was a corner to crawl into. In most of the airports I’ve been laid over in, I could have found some little space to cram myself into, trying to get enough room to stretch my poor crunched limbs, without being too greedy and inconsiderate of the hordes around me who also needed a place to sit. At Schiphol, however, I took a little stroll and found a long, empty corridor, with no gates, no shops, no busy-ness. At the end of that corridor were a few lounge chairs, all empty, and windows with a view of the runways. I got myself a coffee with a shot of whiskey in it and lay there, alternating between dozing and watching the planes come and go. It was a peculiar blissed out trance that I fell into that day and it’s hard to believe that all the hustle and bustle and commerce of such a major airport could have afforded me that peace.

That’s only my experience, though. What’s your favorite?

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