I always love when my itinerary includes a few hours to change planes at Amsterdam-Schiphol Airport. There’s never enough time to head for the city, but Holland-Boulevard offers something more than a generic airport transfer.
The first stop should be Dutch Kitchen. They feature local products and cuisine, such as a hot farmhouse-style egg sandwich on thick bread and a cup of Van Houtte coffee. My favourites are the tiny puffs of poffertjes dusted with sugar and freshly pressed Zeeland apple appelsap. It can all be enjoyed at an oversized wooden table while admiring the display of blue and white Delft pottery, taking advantage of free wifi, and listening to the final boarding calls for the four corners of the earth.
Next is the free annex of the newly-renovated in real-life Rijksmuseum. Ten or more original paintings are displayed up a short flight of stairs. These works of Dutch masters in dark oils with small jewels of colour are carefully chosen to illuminate representative themes such as still life, exploration or skating, with interpretive panels in Dutch and English. The museum giftshop at the bottom of the stairs has magnets, cards, and other souvenirs that replicate famous works of art from the Museum’s main collection.
It all adds up to feel like an actual mini-trip to the Netherlands. As I run for the next flight, I think how lovely it would be to stay longer next time — and perhaps even to get out of the airport.