top of page
  • Writer's pictureDeborah Kade

Interlaken to Zürich to Amsterdam

I have a rubber ducky collection. Yesterday, in Murten, I added two more. The ducks are handmade. Just love the alphorn player and Tell with the apple.

Left Interlaken this morning for the two hour train ride to Zürich. We then flew Swiss Air to Amsterdam. Rain followed us all day. Right now in Amsterdam it is raining cats and dogs.

The Amsterdam airport is quite an amazing place!!!! You walk and walk and walk and walk. Flower stands sell tulip and amaryllis bulbs. There are an enormous amount of shops and restaurants.

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (Dutch: Luchthaven Schiphol, is the main international airport of both Holland and the entire country of the Netherlands, located 9 kilometers (5.6 miles) southwest of Amsterdam, in the municipality of Haarlemmermeer. It is the third busiest airport in Europe in terms of passengers. The airport is built as a single-terminal concept: one large terminal split into three large departure halls.

Schiphol Airport is an important European airport, ranking as Europe's third busiest and the world's fourteenth busiest by total passenger traffic. It also ranks as the world's fifth busiest by international passenger traffic and the world's sixteenth busiest for cargo tonnage. 63,625,664 passengers passed through the airport in 2016. Schiphol's main competitors in terms of passenger traffic and cargo throughput are London Heathrow Airport, Frankfurt Airport, Paris–Charles de Gaulle Airport, Istanbul Atatürk Airport and Madrid–Barajas Airport.

Schiphol's name is derived from a former fortification named Fort Schiphol, which was part of the Stelling van Amsterdam defense works. Before 1852, the Haarlemmermeer polder in which the airport lies was a large lake with some shallow areas. There are multiple stories of how the place got its name. The most popular story is that in the shallow waters sudden violent storms could claim many ships. Winds were particularly strong in the Schiphol area since the prevailing wind direction is from the south-west, and Schiphol lies in the north-eastern corner of the lake. In English, Schiphol translates to "Ships Hell", a reference to many ships supposedly lost in the lake. When the lake was reclaimed, however, no ship wrecks were found.

Another possible origin of the name is the word 'scheepshaal'. A scheepshaal is a ditch or little canal in which ships would be towed from one lake to another.

A third explanation would be that the name derived from the words "scip hol". This is a low-lying area of land (hol) from where wood would be obtained to build ships.

Schiphol opened on September 16, 1916 as a military airbase, with a few barracks and a field serving as platform and runways. When civil aircraft started to use the field ( December 17, 1920), it was often called Schiphol-les-bains. The Fokker aircraft manufacturer started a factory near Schiphol airport in 1919. The end of the First World War also saw the beginning of civilian use of Schiphol Airport and the airport eventually lost its military role completely.

By 1940, Schiphol had four asphalt runways at 45-degree angles, all 1,020 meters (3,350 ft) or less. One was extended to become today's runway 04/22; two others crossed that runway at 52.312°N 4.800°E. The airport was captured by the German military that same year and renamed Fliegerhorst Schiphol. A large amount of anti-aircraft defences were installed in the vicinity of the airport and fake decoy airfields were constructed in the vicinity near Bennebroek, Vijfhuizen and Vogelenzang in an attempt to confuse allied bombers. A railway connection was also constructed. Despite these defenses, the airfield was still bombed intensively, and an exceptionally heavy attack on December 13, 1943 caused so much damage that it rendered the airfield unusable as an active base. After that, it served only as an emergency landing field, until the Germans themselves destroyed the remainders of the airfield at the start of Operation Market Garden. At the end of the war, the airfield was restored quickly, with the first aircraft, a Douglas DC-3, landing again on July 8, 1945.

A new terminal building was completed in 1949 and it was decided that Schiphol was to become the primary airport of the Netherlands. Expansion came at the cost of a small town called Rijk, which was demolished to make room for the growing airport. The name of this town is remembered in the name of the present Schiphol-Rijk industrial estate. In 1967, Dutch designer Benno Wissing created signage for Schiphol Airport well known for its clear writing and thorough color-coding; to avoid confusion, he prohibited any other signage in the shades of yellow and green used. This was part of the new terminal building that replaced the older facilities once located on what is now the east side of the airport. The A-Pier of the airport was modified in 1970 to allow Boeing 747 aircraft to make use of the boarding gates.

We have a very nice room on the 15th floor of the Ramada Apollo Amsterdam Center. You can tell it is a slow picture day when the only pictures I have are of the room today.

Went to dinner with three of the people Michael will work with at the trade show. Michael had the Dutch stew. We both had the waffles with cherries for dessert. The cream and ice cream with the coating of cinnamon were a nice addition to the waffle.

After dinner, we walked around the city center. This is a place that needs to be explored in the day time. The city center is quite a bee hive of activity. Bikes are everywhere!

More to write about tomorrow!

0 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page