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100% customs check at Schiphol from Schengen Athens

Leaving the airplane took a while because customs was checking every passengers passport. I thought that it was against the Schengen rules and so illegal to do a 100% customs check for passengers arriving from another Schengen country.

If I’m wrong please let me know.

My return flights from Athens

Winglet of KLM 737-800

Winglet of KLM 737-800

KLM departed 40 minutes late from Amsterdam, due to fog in London. The airplane had flown to London before the flight to Athens. The crew managed to make up some time after arriving in Athens, so we departed only 20 minutes late. This time it was an older Boeing 737-800 with winglets but without the tv-screens. During the flight the crew managed to make up the rest of the time by flying  a little bit faster and lower where they had less headwind, so we arrived at the scheduled arrival time. On board I had a hot sandwich with chicken and cheese and I sat on seat 5A. Information about the Customs at Schiphol will follow in my next post.

After a couple of hours I boarded my second flight (Fokker 70, seat 4A) of the day to Düsseldorf which had a flying time of only 30 minutes, but as usual we departed from the Polderbaan. The flight arrived on time in Düsseldorf where the airplane parked at the terminal, but we still had to go with a bus, that after driving us around the airport, dropped us off a few hundred meters were we started.

Day of my return flight.

As I’m leaving at 17:20 hours, I had half a day in Athens left and so had time to see some of the sites that were closed yesterday. I took the metro to Syntagma and walked via the parliament to The Temple of Zeus. After making some photographs there I walked through Plaka to the Ancient Agora. After visiting the Temple of Hephaestus (part of the Ancient Agora) I took the metro to return to my hotel. I had some drinks on the “view bar” to soak up my last ray of sunshine in Greece, before I left the hotel and took the metro to the Airport.

Novus City Hotel.

The Novus City Hotel is a 4 star hotel that is not in the best area of Athens. I had no problems with that and there were enough police officers on the street to feel save at night. But it remains the question if the police does anything when something happens. The hotel is about 100 meters from the Metaxourghio metro station. But always beware of pickpockets. The area between the hotel and Thissio I would stay out. I should walk via Omonia and Monastiraki. To take the metro in the evening or at night is, I think, saver.

The price is very good, 4 nights for a little bit more than 150 euros, and the staff is very friendly. The bathroom is not very big and the standard rooms have only a shower. From the “view bar” you have a beautiful panorama of the Athens, and especially of the Acropolis and the Lykavittos hill. They have an American breakfast buffet that is quite good and it was included in the price.

Third day in Athens

Sunday was a special day. It was 25 of march, Independence day in Greece, so all (historic) sites were closed. In the morning I saw the big military parade. There was also a huge police force, at least a couple of thousand. As the historic sites were closed I decided to walk to the parliament to see the presidential guards. The police was expecting a demonstration there so there were many police officers and the metro station Syntagma was closed. As there was not much to do I decided to walk to Monastiraki and take the metro to Faliro, where I changed to the tram, that took me along the coast Asklipiio Voulas. On the way back I got off at Kalamaki where I walked along the coast.

Second day in Athens

After a good breakfast in my hotel I walked to Lykavittos hill and climbed it form the north side. The hill is 277 meters high and it gives you good overview of Athens, see my photographs. I chose to descent the hill at the front side and crossed the city to arrive in Plaka. After a short stop at a café, I climbed the Acropolis hill to arrive at the entrance. The entrance fee of the Acropolis is 12 euro and is valid for 4 days at a couple of historic sites.

These sites are:
Ancient Agora
Roman Agora
Hardian’s library
Temple of Zeus
Theatre of Dionysos

First day in Athens

It is the third week that it is nice weather in Athens. The temperature is above 20 degrees centigrade.
I started my day in Piraeas where I arrived by Metro and walked back to the Falino metro station, via the Zea Marina.

I had lunch in Plaka and afterwards I rounded the Acropolis and visited the New Acropolis museum.

KLM flight to Athens.

The flight left the Gate C11 at Schiphol almost on time. But as usual we had to taxi 20 minutes to reach the “Polderbaan”, which is halfway Haarlem.

The flight was with a 737-800 with winglets and TV-screens. The latter you don’t see very often in KLM airplanes. According the crew KLM they only have TV-screens in all  737-700 and a in couple of 737-800, what is a pity.

On both flights I sat at 5A, the first row after Business Class. The sky above Europe was at moments very crowded and planes ware crossing us above and below at the same time. After take-off the flight took us over Düsseldorf, Frankfurt and Munich. After that crossed the alps and we followed the coast of the Adriatic Sea to Greece.

The meal was this time not a burger but a Thai Red Curry Wrap. The bread of the wrap was a bit hard.

We landed 16:00 hours, 5 minutes after scheduled arrival time.

Back-up for my flight from DUS

KLM back-up airplane for my flight

KLM back-up airplane for my flight

This time I drove by car to Düsseldorf Airport.

As you can see on the image KLM has a back-up plane standing by at Düsseldorf, so if they have a problem I won’t miss my connection. 😉

Actually the early flight was cancelled due to a technical problem.

The flight with a Fokker 70 to Amsterdam was very smooth and I could see all the traffic jams of the morning rush hour.

We arrived at Schiphol at runway 36R(ight).

Tomorrow second city trip

Tomorrow my second city trip with KLM will start. This time Athens is my destination.
My Hotel has free WIFI so I will try to update this blog every day.

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