Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Beer

It's 2 p.m. here in body says it's 8 a.m. and my brain says why the hell do you book these insane flight itineraries?  Sadly, my brain ought to know: Since Delta completely swallowed Northwest -- whom I used to complain about, but really didn't know how good the airline was in comparison -- getting a direct flight from Detroit to anywhere costs a gazillion dollars.  So I'm flying through 5 different airports on this trip, and it's taking nearly 24 freaking hours to get to Zurich.

But that's not about the beer.  The late arrival of my flight here to Amsterdam is, indirectly.

Originally, this itinerary had a 6 hour layover in Amsterdam, more than enough to shower, take the train downtown and make my way to my favorite local brewery, Brouwerij't IJ.

 I "discovered" the brewery under the windmill on my first trip to Amsterdam to see Blue Man Group when they were here, and have been back several times since.  This brewery has terrific brews, some of them strong enough to make navigating Amsterdam's tram network a challenge.  (I speak, of course, from experience.)  My particular favorite is the Columbus.

I was looking forward to making the most of a travel itinerary full of layovers (5 1/2 hours in Terminal 4 at JFK: not fun) with this treat.  But loading 3 stables of race horses on to a 747-400 Combi evidently takes longer than KLM's crew anticipated.  A lot longer.

So I no longer have enough time to comfortably make it downtown, transfer to a bus, enjoy a beer, ride the bus back to Centraal Station, catch a train back to Schiphol, go through "heightened security" and passport control, and board my final flight to get me to Zurich.  I'm getting old.  Even a year or two ago, I would have pushed my luck and done it anyway.

So Brouwerij't IJ will have to wait for another time.  And I will have to kill 3 more hours here at Schiphol Airport.  Maybe there's a pub in the airport somewhere...

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