Oct 26 2007

Let The Story Begin

Category: Amsterdam,PersonalChrisM @ 1:08 am

I am going to start typing up my experiences during my trip to Amsterdam and Britain, before I forget them.
In case you happen to be a new reader, I’ll give a quick background to the trip…
I was born in Britain, and spent my first 27 years there. I met Irina back in 1998, and got to know a little bit about her home country (Kazakhstan) from talking to her. August 2001 saw us get married here in Astana, and we spent the next 5 or so years living in Britain, coming over here in the summer or winter each year. Eventually we decided to try living in Astana for a while, which gave Irina the chance to be closer with her family and friends for a while, and for me to discover her home nation, and see how life is for people in Kazakhstan now. Anyway, to skip back to the wedding a moment, Irina flew over to Kazakhstan a little before me, to start the paper work required for the marriage to take place.
As you may imagine, I partied quite hard in the last week or so before I was due to leave, to the point that a friend had to pack my luggage for me an hour or so before the coach was due to take me to the airport. My flight went via Amsterdam, so I had decided to take the opportunity to actually visit the city itself. We’ll skip most of the gory details, but suffice to say I missed a couple of flights, and spent too much time too ‘tired’ wandering around the city (I was just 22 at the time, as opposed to the responsible, mature and well behaved 28 year old who now types this post out 😉 ). A few years after we were married, Ira secretly arranged a long weekend in Amsterdam for us, so I already knew it was theoretically possible to not get lost, miss flights, and actually have a bed to sleep in!
This year ChrisD was meant to come and visit us here in Astana again, and the plan was that I’d follow him back and visit Amsterdam with him. However circumstances dictated that he couldn’t come this year, so I decided to meet him over in Holland, unfortunately Irina could not get the time off work. As I was travelling all the way to Western Europe, I decided I would check how much more it would cost me to visit Britain, and see my family and friends. As it turned out, if I used different airlines and booking agents, I could spend less than $150 and spend some time in the UK 🙂
A bit later on, AlexC decided she would like to tag along as well, as the apartment we had booked could hold four, and they had both met previously, we decided to make it a threesome. NOT that sort of threesome… Anyway, I’ll leave the rest for now, I just wanted to make sure that everyone would be at the same level of background knowledge before posting any pictures and stories.

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