Thursday, 26 April 2012

Apples of Amsterdam

A few weeks ago, I took a little trip to Amsterdam, zipping in on a British Airways flight (I forgot how awesome it is to fly an airline that gives you free drinks! And allocated seats.....).

Being on a bit of a savings jaunt at the moment, we thought we'd be clever, innovative, go back to our inner-backpacker selves, and stay at a camping ground in Amsterdam. Don't worry, I'm not crazy enough to actually camp on a city break weekend in March, but we did rent a cabin, or rather, a wagon. By the time we arrived at the central station from the airport, it was fast approaching midnight. We managed to find the right tram quickly - and luckily - because it must have been the last one that night. The tram whizzed along for about ten minutes, and we alighted (British transport word I seem to have picked up) in the middle of some suburb. Desperately trying to follow the directions to this camp, in the dark, with our wheely bags, we passed by waterways, hippy commune trailer parks, old abandoned cars - anything but a camping ground. Of course I was completely calm and chilled out about it all, I didn't start to panic, as we wheeled along the gravelly road at 1am, in between two canals, a motorway above us. I didn't start to think "If we can't find this place, where the hell are we going to sleep tonight?". Nope, perfectly calm. Thank goodness my calm attitude managed to last until we finally did find this mysterious camping ground between canals and lakes and rivers under the motorway. Phew. My British Airways G&T was starting to wear thin.

And yet, the test to my zen did not end there. We found our wagon, conveniently down near the lake, in damp two-degree evening chill. And we found that the wagon, I had neglected to note at time of booking, did not have a nice luxurious double bed with crisp white Egyptian cotton sheets. It had bunks, with very damp-feeling linen, reeking of the Netherland's infamous decriminalised plant. So it was that we spent a freezing night, underneath two duvets, plus a sleeping bag that we had the foresight to bring, squashed into one bunk for warmth. Is this what they call glamping?