Our flights to Toronto, Canada all the way from Venice, Italy were an adventure all on its own. So, I should start off this Canadian adventure with just that. How we managed to get from Ljubljana, Slovenia up to Ontario, because with a seven month old baby and a three year old toddler we knew it would be no small endeavor. We were not dismayed. On the 7th of September we were on our way to our first destination, the Marco Polo airport. Thankfully it started well as both girls were firmly asleep all the way to the parking lot.
I love airports and I can’t exactly pin point the reason why but it has been a love that grows stronger every time we meet. I could spend an entire day just waiting for a flight, people watching, sipping a latte and flipping through a good book. There is just something about the rush, the constant hassle and bustle and the feeling as if the whole world congregated in one place. And all those huge airports are more like a metropolis than a fancy waiting room, with all the good stores, restaurants and everything else you might need. I enjoyed our early morning at the Marco Polo airport. Watching the sun rise over the runway, its rays gently grazing all the planes coming and going and observing my fellow travelers oblivious to all the commotion, just treating this place as another stop by on their way to a destination. Of course, I too was excited to board the plane as that is the best part of the airport – leaving it eventually – taking off, going somewhere new, discovering the world.
In the last few years I flew with low cost airlines around Europe – doing mostly offbeat smaller airports, so this whole trip was a special treat for me, despite traveling with two small kids. When buying tickets price was again the most important factor and we found the cheapest tickets at KLM. And I have to say they really made our flights a nice experience. Tesa enjoyed her crib, well not on the flight to Canada but when we were coming back she slept there the entire way and Stela loved her special meal with all the toys. The staff at the airport and on all the planes was beyond nice and from now on I am always traveling with small kids as everyone was trying to make sure we were comfortable and doing great. My dad who’s done a lot of traveling says that all the airlines are especially nice to families traveling with small kids. I can’t say for sure because I wasn’t interested in that before and so I didn’t pay much attention. I just now know that flying KLM was a good choice to make. Especially as our next stop on the way to Toronto happened to be Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport, which was as I just now found out voted the best in Europe, according to a passenger satisfaction review carried out by Skytrax website.
Well, I didn’t know that coming in, but it definitely gets all my votes. In the past I got my share of all the big and mighty European airports and some in the US. It would have been nice to also have done some Asian, hopefully in the near future. But in my b.c. years or before children, I was just interested in a comfy place to sit and read a good book while not being hungry or thirsty. With the two of them I need more to pass the time. And Schiphol has it all, from a good restaurant, library, nice lounge, to a playground for Stela all the way to quiet room with cribs for babies and couches for their exhausted parents. It wasn’t hard at all to spend three hours there till it was time to do the long haul. The transatlantic flight to Montreal. It took us more then seven hours and thankfully by the end of it, all of us managed to get some sleep. There was enough time to have some good moments and time enough for the low points. I gave up on trying to put Tesa to sleep in the crib and just cradled her in my arms while Nikica made room for Stela and she slept till we landed. I’ll not write about the few times I thought what in the world made me think this might be a good idea and me giving all the single, movie watching travelers the evil-jealous eye.
We made it all the way to Canada and that made it all worth our while. But by the time we boarded the plane for Toronto I was beyond tired, so sorry, but I paid no attention to the nice Montreal airport nor was there any love left for the third take off that would finally get us to Toronto. But hey every relationship has its ups and downs and after all is said and done my love for airports and airplanes has only gotten stronger…